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Friday 14th December, 2012

Wigan Borough is getting fitter and that's official!

Council and Leisure Trust chiefs are welcoming the latest figures from Sport England which show that more people in the borough are taking part in regular exercise than ever before.

The current fitness trend also shows that, proportionally, more people are taking part in at least 30 minutes exercise on three or more days a week than anywhere else in Greater Manchester.

Nationally, the increase places Wigan Borough in the top quartile of most improved authorities.

The results come from the latest Active People Survey (December) which looks at the amount of exercise people do over a 12 month period.

Sport England measures how many people in a local area take part in sport or active recreation at a moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes on three or more days a week over a four week period.

The survey began life in 2005/06 and the first set of results showed just over 21 per cent of adults in Wigan and Leigh achieved this desired level of activity. This year's figures have just been released and the borough has smashed the baseline result with an impressive 4.3 per cent increase.

More than a quarter of over 16s in Wigan Borough (25.6 per cent) are now running, jumping, bending and stretching their way to better health by hitting the target activity rate. Wigan Council and its partners are leading the way in promoting healthy and active lifestyles throughout the borough.

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT) is responsible for managing public sports and leisure facilities and activities in the borough and has worked hard on the council's behalf to help make Wigan Borough a healthier and happier place.

The council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, Cllr Chris Ready, said: “This is fantastic news for our borough. We've a long and proud tradition of sporting excellence in Wigan and it's clear that more people are now actually taking part.

“The council has long been committed to improving the health and well-being of the borough. We have provided some of the finest sports and leisure facilities anywhere in the country in our borough from Leigh Sports Village to the Wigan Life Centre and it's clear that more people are taking advantage of this.”

Cllr Ready adds: “Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust takes an active role in encouraging people to take part in sport and exercise. It puts on thousands of gym, pool and outdoor activities and sessions each year and makes sure that there is something to suit everyone regardless of age or ability.

“The Active Living Team works to provide bespoke exercise routines for those who have been referred to them by our partners in the Health Service. Whilst officers from the Trust are working across all levels of the community within our borough to make sure that everyone from the very young to the more mature have access to life-improving activities.”

WLCT Chief Executive Stuart Murray adds: “There's never been a better time to become more active. It's been one of the best years ever for British Sport and it's clear that our success in the Olympics has really inspired people to get involved.

“Our staff have been there to encourage that initial spark and help to turn it into something really meaningful.

“The benefits of good health and regular exercise are beyond doubt and that's why we are really delighted to that all the hard work of all our staff over the years is now baring fruit.

“We're all committed to creating a healthier borough and whilst we're really pleased with these results we are in no way complacent. There's still plenty of good work to do and we're looking forward to the borough's activity figures continuing to increase in the years to come.”

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