BMC backs new government initiative to get people active

Posted by Catherine Flitcroft on 13/02/2014

The UK government, the Mayor of London and Lord Coe, as the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Ambassador, have made an important commitment to promoting physical activity across the country as part of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The government and the Mayor of London are challenging themselves and others to do more to get people moving and sustain a more active nation for the longer term. Today they launched the Moving More, Living More initiative. 

The initiative highlights the current status of physical activity across the country. Although research shows over 1.5 million more people are doing sport once a week than when London won the Olympic bid in 2005, a large proportion of the UK population is still inactive, with 28.5% of adults failing to do 30 minutes of physical activity a week.

Moving More, Living More draws on the need for a cross-sectoral approach to increasing physical activity, stating that it “is only by working only by working across government and across sectors that we are going to realise this aim – never again will we allow physical activity to occupy a silo in any one department.”

The government is now asking organisations and individuals across the country to submit information and ideas about projects that are already happening and suggestions about what more could be done. Public Health England (PHE) will be running a consultation towards the end of February.

Dr Cath Flitcroft. BMC access officer (policy) said “The BMC welcomes the launch of this initiative and will be making our views clear and highlightling the good work we are already doing to help people get active. Climbing and hill walking are great ways of keeping physically active. They are lifelong activities which can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities at any level.

“We are also keen to hear from DEFRA, the government department responsible for environmental, food and rural issues, including improving access to the countryside and coast, that they too will be engaging with this initiative and how.”

Andrew Denton, CEO for the Outdoor Industries Association which heads up the Britain on Foot campaign commented: “I’m delighted with this cross departmental commitment from the government. The ‘Moving More, Living More’ campaign aims to promote recreational outdoor activity and not just sport, which is totally in line with the objectives of Britian on Foot…..The OIA is really looking forward to helping drive this project forward.”

The BMC will be discussing the issue with a number of MPs and Lords at the Mountaineering All Party Parliamentary Group meeting on 26 February.

The BMC has a number of projects already in place to get more people active: 

  • A new BMC Access Manifesto calling for more government support for countryside access and recreation has already been sent to over 200 MPs to consider in the run up to the launch of their party manifestos ahead of the 2015 election.
  • We are a key partner of the Britain on Foot campaign to encourage people to get active outdoors.  The BOF campaign launched in 2013 and has receieved funding through the BMC's bid to Sport England.
  • Regional Development Team: the BMC has a team of three regional development officers whose primary objectives are to support people wanting to climb outside and to help clubs attract new members. We offer courses for BMC affiliated clubs to support them in taking on novice members.
  • Outdoor climbing courses - The BMC currently runs two types of indoor to outdoor rock climbing courses that are heavily subsidised to help people who want to take their first steps climbing outdoors. Rock Out is run in conjunction will climbig walls around the country and Ready to Rock takes place at Plas y Brenin,  the national mounatin centre in Wales. Ready to Rock offers courses specifically tailored to young people and families.
  • Head for the hills courses: Heavily discounted courses for those who want to learn the skills to be a confident hill walker. No experience is necessary.
  • Young people: a free guide for parents of children who are interested in participating in climbing related activities. We also run the BMC Youth Climbing Series which attracts over 800 young climbers of all levels to take part. 
  • BMC Ambassadors scheme: the BMC has recently signed up eight inspirational ambassadors to act as role models to inspire and engage young climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers. The Ambassadors initiative aims to encourage more young people to join and get involved with the BMC.
  • BMC Equity Steering Group: a large part of the group's work involves looking at barriers that underrepresented groups face when they want to do any of the activities the BMC covers and suggesting strategies for removing those barriers.
  • Outdoor festivals: a series of climbing and hill walking festivals are organised around the country by BMC local area volunteers. All welcome.

Find out more about participation numbers in climbing, hill walking and mountaineering and how to get started.



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