Great Britain

Project to get Shildon and Deerness Valley more active

PILOT projects are planned in County Durham to get communities more active.

With a grant from Sport England, Durham County Council wants to help keep residents in Deerness Valley and Shildon – where a sports stadium is due to reopen this month – moving.

It will work with partners to find ways to help people fit activity into their lives in a way that works for them.

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The Active Places initiative is aimed at residents who typically do less than 30 minutes a week of sport or physical exercise to highlight fun, family-friendly opportunities to get moving.

A pilot scheme has already brought two programmes to Shildon and one to Broompark in Deerness Valley.

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Parkletics combines the new outdoor gym equipment at Hackworth Park, in Shildon, with a Parkletics app, which provides goals based on a person’s fitness and confidence levels to enhance their workout.

Mobile Adventures is another app that helps people to get moving and offers a free family game at Hackworth Park and Broompark picnic areas for the half term holidays.

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Improvements are also being made to various routes of the Deerness Valley Railway Park, to make them more accessible.

Katy Thompson, project coordinator at County Durham Sport, said: “The Active Places pilot is an exciting opportunity to bring about real change.

"We are passionate about improving physical health and mental wellbeing and bringing people together.

"Through Active Places, we want to inspire people to be active and provide accessible, enjoyable and sustainable opportunities to participate.”

Meanwhile, the newly refurbished Shildon Athletics Stadium will re-open to the public later this month, with a resurfaced athletics track, refurbished stadium seating, a new hammer cage and improvements to the pavilion.

The project, which cost over a quarter of a million pounds, was funded thanks to a grant from Sport England, the council and contributions from local elected members in Shildon.

The stadium is already home to three County Durham based athletics clubs with over 300 members in total.

It is hoped the work will allow the county to host North East Youth Development League (NEYDL) athletics events in the future and increase opportunities for residents to enjoy outdoor activities.

Councillor Carl Marshall, cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The reopening of Shildon Athletics Stadium will provide huge opportunities for residents across the county.

"As well as benefitting those who live nearby, the revitalised stadium will once again be able to play host to regional events and fixtures, serving as a strategic hub for the development of athletics in our region.

“Alongside Active Places, this will hopefully inspire more adults and children into leading healthier, happier lives.

"As we continue to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, it is vital that we look to provide more facilities and projects that will improve the quality of life for our residents and allow them to benefit from outdoor activities at a local level.”

Visit activeshildon.com or activevalleys.com or follow @Active_Shildon or @Active_Valleys on social media for details.

Residents are also being asked to have their say on being active during the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey is available via the Active Places websites until November 30, with people having the chance to win a £75 voucher as a thank you for taking part.

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