Lack of facilities in Redbridge blamed over fall in adults getting exercise

The percentage of adults participating in physical activities fell below the national average in Redbridge for the last two years, with some blaming the lack of facilities for residents.

With NHS North East London and the City set to release their annual public health report next week – after setting out to encourage more adults to get active last year – Cllr Balvinder Saund has said residents are being forced to “seek” out facilities elsewhere in order to participate in sport.

She said: “I’m not surprised at all that adults in Redbridge aren’t being active as there are not enough facilities. We are still waiting for a replacement pool in Seven Kings.

“Residents are forced to seek facilities in other boroughs, especially adults. We need more education and awareness to encourage people to get active, but the council don’t have the money.”

Twenty-two per cent of the adult population are obese in Redbridge – statistically lower than the national average.

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But, the percentage of adults undertaking the recommended level of sport and active recreation is also below the national average.

Chairman of Redbridge Swimmers, John Sharrock, said: “The lack of swimming facilities in the borough is a travesty. We will never have any swimmers here while the facilities are so bad.

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“It is so frustrating, particularly with all the talk about the Olympic legacy.”

Redbridge also falls behind Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Waltham Forest on the amount of sport undertaken.

Deputy council leader Cllr Ian Bond said: “The council are working hard to encourage people to lead active lifestyles, especially following the Olympics.

“I think Londoners in general are lucky with the transport available and their busy lives often mean they don’t have time to do as much sport as they’d like.

“We are working hard to improve the sports facilities available as well as improving a number of sites which have huge potential, such as Fairlop Waters.”

Redbridge Council’s sport and health team offer a variety of activities and initiatives in the community, as well as the Active for Life campaign encouraging people to take up sport.

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