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Cash boost for workers fitness plan

Efforts to get more local workers more physically active in Horsham area have received a financial boost.

Sport England has Horsham District Council’s Sports Development team a £9,500 grant to develop more sports programmes and opportunities for the district. Seventeen different activities in one year were included in the bid. They ranged from football and cricket to less competitive and individualised sports such as dance and leisure cycling as well as unusual offerings such as ultimate frisbee and disc golf.

Horsham Park will be the focal point for the new events with its large open spaces, refurbished tennis and multi courts, outdoor fitness equipment and various sports clubs and facilities.

The grant money will allow more high quality specialised equipment to be purchased, and will extend local delivery capacity to train more coaches and support more promotional work. The funds awarded will also contribute to the salary of a new Sports Apprentice position which will be central to the project.

The council say that there is nothing new about workplaces encouraging their staff to do sports and activity, and the benefits of a fit, healthy and happy workforce are widely acknowledged. But by widening the range of opportunities, both in nature and frequency, it hopes more people will be encouraged to get involved.

The project will build on an existing platform of workplace sports development in the town.

Local charity Set4Success, which raises and distributes funds to local talented young sportspeople, is running a number of inter-business challenges to raise funds. Recent challenges have included ultimate frisbee, table tennis and snooker and up and coming activities include archery and stoolball.

Six local primary school staff teams are soon to battle it out at rounders and Horsham District Council staff have been enjoying a range of lunchtime taster sessions since April with air rifle shooting, archery and orienteering being particularly popular.

Cabinet Member for Community and Culture Cllr Jonathan Chowen said: “I am delighted that the council has succeeded in its bid for these vital funds.“This will be an exciting project to deliver and will help us to increase local adult sports participation.

“Although we’re committed to delivering a particular menu of sports opportunities to oblige the funding conditions we still have scope to listen to additional ideas that people have to get more working adults active.”

Any businesses or employees in Horsham and its surrounding areas who are  keen to know more about how the project could benefit them, how to get involved, or may have ideas to share, should contact Ian Ford by emailing  Ian.ford@horsham.gov.uk or calling 07764 146338 and/or visit the ‘Inclusive Activities’ section of the hdsd.org.uk website.

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