Bid to get 5,000 more people taking more exercise in South Tyneside

Haven Point in South Shields.
Haven Point in South Shields.

Plans are being made to encourage 5,000 people in South Tyneside to be more active.

Councillors will be told next week that more than a quarter of people aged 19 and over in the borough are classed as being inactive - which is higher than the national average.

Coun Tracey Dixon

Coun Tracey Dixon

To counter this worrying statistic, a new physical activity strategy has been created to encourage people in the to move more.

Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for independence and wellbeing at South Tyneside Council, said: “Increasing physical activity levels can contribute to the emotional, physical and social aspects of our residents’ lives while also shaping and improving our environment.

“South Tyneside is noted for its beautiful coastline and green spaces and one of the ways to encourage people to be more active is by encouraging participation in local events such as health walks or parks maintenance.”

She added: “Our strategy seeks to complement our natural spaces and encourage 5,000 people who are currently inactive into some sort of physical activity.”

A report will outline how the strategy aims to encourage more than 1,000 more children to travel to school by foot or bike while a cycleway and walkway could be developed to connect South Tyneside to the new jobs to come at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park.

The council has also invested significantly in leisure facilities over the past seven years with the opening of Haven Point and Hebburn Central and, more recently, the refurbishment of Jarrow Focus which has resulted in a large rise in leisure memberships.

Councillors are being invited to endorse the strategy and agree that it should be launched next month.