Physically active recreation is engaged in for the purpose of relaxation or enjoyment rather than formal competition.
Actif Woods Wales is a project run by Coed Lleol which aims to explore how people who don’t usually visit woodlands can be encouraged to do so for health and well-being benefits. The project focuses specifically on people suffering from chronic ill-health conditions. This approach to treating a variety of mental and physical illnesses is based on the natural environment’s ability to improve health and well being by reducing stress and providing opportunities for exercise and social interaction. The project is currently run in two areas of Wales that have been identified as high need and designated as Strategic Regeneration Areas, one in South Wales (Treherbert, Rhondda Cynon Taf) and one in mid Wales (Aberystwyth).
The Come Outside! Programme aims to remove barriers and support people from Community First areas to use the natural environment to increase physical activity and improve skills, confidence, and overall well-being.
The Welsh Government’s Free Swimming initiative entitles all children under 16 to free sessions at selected times at local leisure centre’s and at least one free structured activity session each week in the school holidays. Sport Wales is managing the delivery of Free Swimming for the Welsh Government.
For more information visit the Sport Wales Website .
The Welsh Governments Free Swimming Initiative also entitles all over 60’s to free access to swimming pools. Many pools also offer a free activity with an Instructor each week. Sport Wales is managing the delivery of Free Swimming for the Welsh Government. For more information visit the Sport Wales Website.
Let’s Walk Cymru (LWC) is a Welsh Government initiative, that Ramblers Cymru have been tasked to deliver, to increase physical activity in the welsh population through walking. The scheme is designed to get non active people active and contribute to the Welsh Governments national target of increasing physical activity in the adult Welsh population for 2.4 days a week to 3.4 days a week by 2020.
Let’s Walk Cymru introduced the ‘How to…’ factsheets to help groups start walking activities in their communities. The factsheets provide information on how to promote the walks, how to set up a walking group and share the workload and how to develop new activities to maintain the interest of walkers and to attract new ones:
The Wales Coast Path was officially opened in 2012 and Wales is now the first country in the world to have a formal trail the whole way around its coast. The path which is 870 miles long connects with Offa’s Dyke National Trail to create a unique continuous 1030 mile path around Wales.
In addition to those who wish to walk along the path, some sections of the route are also ideal for people with disabilities, families with prams or buggies, horse riders and cyclists.
The Green Exercise Partnership was a consortium made up of key organisations working on physical activity projects in the natural environment in Wales.
The partnership consisted of the three leading Non Governmental Organisations in Wales; Sustrans Cymru (lead partner), the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) and Groundwork Wales. The partnership co-ordinated a programme of practical projects, tackling health inequalities and promoting healthier lifestyles in Wales, through physical activity opportunities in the outdoors, such as walking, cycling and gardening. As part of this work, evaluative case studies of best practice were commissioned.
Mentro Allan/Venture Out was a five year Big Lottery Fund programme which addressed the strategic goals of the Welsh Government’s Climbing Higher strategy and sought to develop an evidence base for people in Wales to understand:
• how people who traditionally are not physically active change their behaviour
• what support needs are required for particular demographic groups
• the role that activity in outdoor locations can play in changed behaviour
• what organisation and partnership structures work best
The programme supported 14 diverse projects across Wales working with young people at risk of social exclusion, people from deprived areas, people from ethnic minorities, older people, young women, people with mental health issues, people with physical and learning disabilities and people in rural areas and carers. The programme has resulted in a suite of learning resources being made available from overviews of the issues for selected groups to practical information about how to design a programme of activities and what support is needed. There are over 20 case studies giving real life examples for reflection and suggesting approaches for future work. For more information or to download the project reports visit the Sport Wales website.
Extend provides recreational movement to music for men and women over-sixty and for less able people of all ages. Its aims to promote health, increase mobility and independence, improve strength, co-ordination and balance and to counteract loneliness and isolation, thereby enhancing the quality of life.