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Sports participation in Islington up 50 per cent in last decade

PUBLISHED: 16:29 09 March 2015 | UPDATED: 16:30 09 March 2015

Cllr Janet Burgess and some young gymnasts outside the Sobell Centre

Cllr Janet Burgess and some young gymnasts outside the Sobell Centre

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The number of residents doing sport in Islington has risen by almost 50 per cent in less than 10 years, according to figures from Sport England.

GLL's Joe Rham and Matt Perren help Cllr Janet Burgess try out new gym equipment at Cally PoolGLL's Joe Rham and Matt Perren help Cllr Janet Burgess try out new gym equipment at Cally Pool

About 52,000 residents said they exercised for 30 minutes at least once a week in 2005/2006, compared to more than 79,000 in 2013/2014.

Islington has the most increased participation in sport of all inner London boroughs from 2005 to 2014 and is second to only Hammersmith and Fulham and Lambeth in percentage of residents exercising once a week with 45.2pc of residents active – well above the London average of 37.7pc.

Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council’s executive member for Health and Wellbeing, said that the Olympics made a massive impact on the borough and pledged that the town hall would continue to invest in facilities to continue the upward trend.

“Sport is so important on so many levels,” said Cllr Burgess.

“We have always been a sporty borough, led of course by the mighty Arsenal FC, but these Sport England figures are a further endorsement of our decision to invest in wider sports development at grass roots level.

“There’s no doubt the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics raised the profile of sporting participation.

“Our leisure contract with GLL promises £10million investment in leisure facilities so the next generation of sporting heroes can take their positions on the starting blocks.”

More detailed figures which are available for 2012/2013 show that there has been a massive increase in the number of over 55s doing exercise, with 28.5pc staying active at least once a week compared to only 15.6pc in 2005/2006.

Cllr Burgess said: “We have an older people’s card where you can pay £5.10 a year for free swimming at off peak times as well as very affordable classes.

“People like me think about gyms being full of fit young people in Lycra but it’s not like that anymore. They’re much more welcoming now, which is important for older people.”


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