Hundreds back the fitness drive

Physical Activities Leader for Corby Borough Council Kye Bishop demonstrates simple fitness exercises which can be done using a chair during the Reach Out project in Corby's West Glebe Pavaillion.
Physical Activities Leader for Corby Borough Council Kye Bishop demonstrates simple fitness exercises which can be done using a chair during the Reach Out project in Corby's West Glebe Pavaillion.

A fitness scheme which aimed to address Corby’s poor health record had a total of 650 people take part.

The Reach Out project, which was jointly funded by Corby Council, Northamptonshire PCT and Sport England, focused on increasing participation in sport and physical activity among women, older people and those on low incomes.

A celebration event was held yesterday at West Glebe Park Pavilion where the success of the three-year programme was revealed.

It beat its target figure of the amount expected to take part by more than 100.

In addition between January 2009 and August last year 416 people over 50 participated – its target was 135.

A total of 294 of people who took part described themselves as new to sport.

Kye Bishop, Corby Council’s activity leader who spearheaded the project, said: “For me, managing the project was brilliant.

“It’s nice to meet different people in the community – it was like coming to work with friends.

“I think a lot was down to the quality of the teaching. The general ethos was to encourage participation, making people more active and encouraging fun.

“I just hope that people continue to keep active and to continue to enjoy what they are doing in terms of activity. It’s all about improving lifestyle and meeting new people.”

Armchair aerobics, dancing to music, Nordic walking and new age kurling were among the activities offered.

They took place around the town including at West Glebe Pavilion, Kingswood Neighbourhood Centre and Beanfield Community Centre.

Mr Bishop added: “Although this is the end of Reach Out, we will still be delivering activities to people in the community.”

It came about after Sport England East Midlands Regional Sports Board identified Corby as an area of greatest need. Just 19 per cent of adults took part in sport or physical activity regularly in comparison to the national average of 22 per cent.

Doreen Berry, 77, of the Danesholme estate, who took part in health walking, new age kurling and armchair aerobics sessions, said: “They say Corby has a poor health record. This must be helping that. I know money is short but I think this is a worthwhile thing.”