26 Oct

Life has a habit of getting in the way of busy women like Caroline putting themselves first and getting active. The 36-year-old, who works as a full-time carer, features in Sport England's new film as part of the launch Fit Got Real, the latest phase of its award-winning campaign This Girl Can. “At the end of the day, I always felt I was either too tired, didn't have enough time or wasn't motivated enough to exercise,” she explains.

The FA is conducting another Grassroots Football Survey for people involved in the game to hear about their experiences. Last year over 30,000 people got in touch and the feedback was invaluable, helping the FA to make improvements to the grassroots game all across the country. This season they want to reach more participants than ever before to ensure the continuous development of grassroots football for all.

Bluecoat Sports Health and Fitness Club is excited to announce the introduction of MATRIX CXP Target Training Cycles to its newly upgraded Indoor Cycling facilities this week. The bikes feature a range of programs that give riders and instructors personalised, individual training options. These include interval, heart-rate, pace, Sprint 8 and goal based workouts. Precision tracking features allow users to accurately monitor their workouts and track their cycling efficiency. Users are also able to track their statistics such as watts, distance, calories and RPM’s, with these metrics displayed in engaging and encouraging graphics in real time.

New research from Women in Sport looks at the visibility of women’s sports coverage across five European countries. With evidence of some countries failing to achieve more than 2% of coverage for women’s sport and around 30% of some channels having zero women’s sport coverage in some periods, the report shows there is still a long way to go in achieving parity for women’s and men’s sport.

Concerns around the mental health and wellbeing of students in colleges has been increasing over recent years. The average college has 185 students with disclosed mental health conditions. In addition to this 81% of colleges have reported having ‘significant numbers’ of students who have undisclosed mental health difficulties. AoC Sport (Association of Colleges) has published a report showing that physical activity can help students improve their mental wellbeing. The report focuses on using physical activity as an intervention for students with mental health issues or low levels of wellbeing.

The new fund will support more summer Olympic and Paralympic sports and help inspire local communities. Olympic and Paralympic sports outside the World Class Programme will be able to bid for additional investment to help more talented athletes compete at Tokyo 2020, Sports Minister Tracey Crouch announced today. The £3 million Aspiration Fund will allow sports who do not currently receive full UK Sport funding to develop plans to help teams and athletes qualify.

2018 has seen another great year for the ‘new-look’ Junior Player Series in Sussex. These fabulous junior events for all beginner players (who don’t need to be a member of a club), a joint collaboration between Horsham District Council and Sussex Golf, have seen almost 70 players taking part in the various events all around Sussex. After the feedback from 2017, new venues were added, to have eight events in all this time round.

21 Oct

The government has been urged to plug the holes in its sport premium cash scheme, with teachers claiming schools are fudging their funding. Teachers claim PE and sport premium funding – introduced in 2013 as part of the London 2012 Olympic legacy – is being misused. This year the government doubled the amount it gives to primary schools each year to £320 million, with schools receiving up to £27,510 each. Schools must use the ring-fenced cash to make “additional and sustainable” improvements to the quality of PE and sport.

Activity Alliance's new piece of research - ‘The Activity Trap – Benefits or Being Fit?’ examined disability benefits and people’s fear of losing their benefits if seen to be too active. Results included over half of the participants stating they were likely to be more active if benefits weren’t at risk of being taken away. This means that disabled people, who make up a fifth of the UK population and currently the least active group in society, are missing out on the positive social, economic and health outcomes of being active, out of fear of losing the financial support that they are entitled to.

20 Oct

Heron Way and St Robert Southwell are the year 3+4 league champions of local large and small primary schools football after the second and final meeting took place yesterday in lovely autumn weather in Horsham Park yesterday evening. Greenway B won the large schools Division B title to complete the honours rostrum. Enthusiasm, fair play and good behaviour were all evident in abundance to show local junior football at its best.

The Horsham District Primary Schools Netball League is underway for the new season. Division A opened up proceedings at Collyers with five teams striving to make a good start. St Andrew's, Nuthurst A looked formidable and so did Greenway A as both teams went unbeaten through the first night. When the met first up honours were even as they shared six goals. St Andrew's looked slick and well drilled and Greenway were particularly aggressive through their boys in their shooting intent. Holbrook opened with two wins and a defeat. They struggled to overcome stiff Shelley resistance before prevailing 2-1 and then went down 4-0 to Greenway before rallying with an impressive 8-2 win over Southwater.

28 primary school children benefitted from a HDSD provided paralmpic sports morning run on Horsham Park Tennis Courts one morning last week. Key Stage 2 children from Holbrook, Arunside and Northolmes attended and were mixed up into groups to enjoy eight sports - archery, boccia, wheelchair football, kinball, handball, racquet sports, athletics zone and fencing. HDSD sports development manager Ian Ford was delighted with the success of the event, "The children applied themselves excellently in a range of sports that were mostly new to them. I'm sure the experience will stand them in good stead for the future."

Anderson Whites are the Set4Success tennis tournament champions after successfully coming through a field of eight teams in Horsham Park on Thursday evening. All four Park tennis courts were in use under their new floodlights as teams initially competed in two groups of four, placings in which informed a final round of play-off matches. Each match was played with two singles matches, A v X and B v Y and one doubles A+B v X+Y. Each tie was played with table tennis scoring rules for simplicity and to a maximum of 10 minutes and there were some excellent games to reward those formatting decisions.

Another super night of table tennis at Collyers in the second week of the Horsham Matchplay process on Friday. The chosen format this week was to place players into teams to play friendly matches. Fixture C brought four adult ladies and one youngster together in a 3 v 2 match format, a bit like the 2 v 1 that used to be used on the Blockbusters quiz show of old! Gill Hood and debutante Katie Warner made up the smaller team but packed the bigger punch, winning 5-1. Brenda Taylor provided stiff resistance taking Warner to four sets and going down 11-8 to Hood in the decider. Charlie P salvaged a consolation point for the threesome by winning in five sets in the final encounter of the tie.

14 Oct

Almost 300,000 more people are doing 150 minutes of activity a week according new figures released today from Sport England's (SE) Active Lives Adult Survey May 2017/18. The report also shows that inactivity levels - people doing fewer than 30 minutes of activity a week - dropped by 116,000 over the same time period. Based on a sample of almost 185,000 respondents to the survey, 297,400 more people in England, aged 16 and above, are meeting the Chief Medical Officer's guidelines of doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week.

Storrington Primary School won the STARS primary schools year 3+4 festival staged at West Chiltington School recently and officiated by HDSD staff. They progressed from the group stage as top team with two wins and despite their progress being slowed up by St Mary's School, Washington, the least experienced team involved in a goalless match. After initial defeat to Storrington, Thakeham Primary School picked up the pace with two conclusive wins in their other matches to set up a final of the big two. Thakeham applied strong pressure in the final but a Storrington counter-attack saw them score the decisive goal. Well done also to the West Chiltington and St Mary's Washington teams for competing with such enthusiasm on the afternoon, the former of the two winning the third place play-off with a single goal.

Active travel is a great way of increasing the amount of daily physical activity accessed by pupils in schools. A generation ago 70% of children walked to school, now this figure is less than 50%. The charity, Living Streets, wants to reverse this trend and has set an ambition of getting every pupil that can, to walk to school.

The Horsham TT Matchplay Nights got underway in good style on Friday at Collyer’s College with 16 players competing across three round-robin groups. Mike Hood was the standout player in the C group displaying some wily shot-making on his way to a full house of victories. Young Adam Cort from West Chiltington also impressed with four wins and Gill Hood will be pleased with her debut in the matchplay process. Her games with Cort and another youngster, Toby Capel, were particularly close and exciting. Brenda Taylor and Sasha Hood also did well in developing their strokes, competing and generally finding their feet.

13 Oct

Greenway A and Plaistow/Kirdford are on top of the Horsham area primary schools footballing tree after winning the respective large and small schools leagues last night in Horsham Park. Greenway A went unbeaten in large schools Division A and despite dropping points in two draws gained a vital 2-0 win over second placed Southwater A to take the title by two points. Plaistow and Kirdford also maintained their unbeaten small school status but were also held to draws in five games over the two meetings, but secured enough points to stay clear of runners-up Loxwood by four. Leechpool A put aside their disappointment at not qualifying for the top group last time out by firing on all cyclinders to win the large schools Division B with a full house of five wins, ahead of Southwater B who won all their games except their battle against the Leechpool top team which finished conclusively 4-1.

9 Oct

Swimming has significantly reduced the symptoms of anxiety or depression for 1.4 million adults in Britain, according to new research. In addition, almost half a million (492,000) British adults with mental health conditions who swim say that they have reduced the number of visits to a medical professional regarding their mental health as a result of swimming. The YouGov poll, commissioned by Swim England, also reveals that more than 490,000 people have reduced, or no longer take, medication for their mental health condition as a result of swimming.

Up to £400,000 is being invested by Sport England to increase diversity in sports leadership roles by 2021. New training, networking, mentoring, deployment support and online activities will be provided to potential candidates, with expressions of interest now being invited from formally constituted organisations to the fund that hopes to provide a list of at least 50 ‘board ready’ diverse candidates to apply for leadership positions by the end of March.

Towns and cities will be turned into giant playgrounds as Sport England invests £3.3 million into the Beat the Street programme aimed at getting people active. Already a hit in 72 towns and cities across the UK and Europe, Intelligent Health’s initiative will now be rolled out with a further 59 games across south west England and the East Midlands thanks to the National Lottery funding.

More than £346m in wasted childcare funding should be used to get children more active and fight the growing epidemic of health issues among the young, says a new report from ukactive. The report, called Generation Inactive 2 – Nothing About Us, Without Us, includes a recommendation that the Government should redirect the Treasury underspend allocated to tax-free childcare to physical activity programmes in disadvantaged areas. The proposal would help support parents to keep children physically active and well-fed outside of school hours, with figures showing that over the summer holidays children lose up to 80% of the fitness gained during term time.

The ‘Puberty and Sport: An Invisible Stage’ report from Women in Sport looks at puberty and its impact on girls’ participation in sport. Key findings include: (1) sport is an ‘invisible stage’ where girls feel everyone is noticing them, (2) sporting activities previously enjoyed, may now seem childish and not in keeping with their emerging adult identity, (3) New responsibilities and interests fill their time and they become more independent of parents, (4) the perception of ‘having to be good’ at sport in order to participate increases, whilst playing sport for fun appears less acceptable, (5) there is an upsurge of competition and animosity between girls, (6) the sports environment is a breeding-ground for gossip, (7) looking good becomes increasingly important, (8) becoming ‘overly sporty’ can lead to negative stereotyping.

Does your sports organisation have a project that could be supported by Community Payback? Community Payback (unpaid work) is a sentence available to courts and is intended as both a punishment and means by which someone can make amends to the community for the harm they have caused. Unpaid workers are classed as low to medium risk offenders (eg motoring, public order, theft offences) and are carefully assessed before being allocated to projects to ensure the safety of the public. Groups are always supervised by trained probation staff.

Did you know that Horsham District Councils Health and Wellbeing team offer FREE support to workplaces in the Horsham District? This includes charities and community groups.They can come to you for a day of Wellbeing MOTs or you can opt for a talk on a topic of your choice such as healthy eating or getting more active.

5 Oct

The Horsham Primary Schools Year 3+4 Football League got underway in Horsham Park yesterday. 15 teams competed across separate large and small school sections to the event and a total of 30 well played matches took place over four pitches. In last week's year 5+6 event small schools goals were hard to come by and scoreless draws were the dominant order of the day; the younger children had no such problems in hitting the back of the net. True things started calmly enough with Loxwood achieving single goal wins over Castlewood and St Robert Southwell and St Mary's Horsham nudging aside Plaistow and Kirdford in similar fashion but once Castlewood put four by St Mary's in the third round the touchpaper was lit and the goals flowed.

2 Oct

Horsham Museum and Art Gallery is developing a football themed exhibition “The Beautiful Game: A History of Football in Horsham District”  in January to mark the start of the HD Year of Culture 2019. They would love to hear from any clubs, players, coaches, referees and fans from across Horsham District who have objects, stories, videos or memorabilia that they would be willing to lend them for the duration of the display. Please get in touch and help to make this a truly community-led display that showcases Horsham District’s passion for the Beautiful Game.

October 1-7 is National Parents in Sport Week. The NSPCC's campaign has three key aims: (1) Ensure parents recognise their role in keeping children safe in sport, (2) Help parents understand how to positively influence their child’s enjoyment and wellbeing in sport, (3) Encourage clubs to engage and involve parents in their child’s sport.

A £15 million investment from Sport England into community cycling facilities aims to provide a lasting legacy from next year’s UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire. Working with British Cycling, Sport England will deliver the funding programme that is set to build multi-use facilities around the country. The announcement comes with a year to go until the best road cyclists in the world head to Yorkshire for the UCI Road World Championships. Yorkshire hosted the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France and in each of the three years since has hosted the Tour de Yorkshire races for both men and women.

Research, released by Living Streets for the start of International Walk to School Month, reveals that too many cars are the things parents find most annoying on the school run – specifically too many cars around school gates (54%), cars parking on the pavements (50%) and too much traffic on the journey (45%). As well as cars, parents identified poor street design and crossings as annoying factors of the school run.

Sport England is launching a £13.5m scheme to train 17,000 teachers in delivering PE and sport in school, after research found that almost 20% of secondary students hated PE lessons. With more than a quarter of the nation’s adults “inactive”, according to the Active Lives survey released in March, Sport England wants to ensure students are leaving secondary education with an active lifestyle.

Schools are cutting the amount of time they dedicate to PE despite warnings of a growing youth obesity crisis. An analysis shows that the number of hours spent on sports lessons has fallen by 21 per cent on average for GCSE pupils in the last six years. For pupils aged 11 to 14, hours have been cut by 5 per cent. The findings come after a recent study from King’s College London found that 25 per cent of girls and 24 per cent of boys between 11 and 15 are obese.

The happiness of girls and young women in Britain has declined in the last 10 years, new research has revealed. Figures from Girlguiding show just 25% of females aged seven to 21 said they were very happy in 2018, compared with 41% in 2009. Exams were the main cause of stress for 69% of those aged 11 to 21, according to the survey of 2,000 females. The number of females aged 17 to 21 who said they were not happy has also increased from 11% in 2009 to 27% this year. Gender stereotypes, social media and body confidence were among the issues raised in the annual Girls' Attitudes Survey.

Children are weaker and less fit than they were 16 years ago, according to a British study. Researchers compared the strength and fitness of 10-year-olds from Essex between 1998 and 2014. They found children had become heavier and taller but scored worse in tests including sit-ups and grip strength - and the decline has been speeding up. Authors said the findings were "worrying" and called for more fitness testing in schools.

Obesity is set to overtake smoking as the biggest preventable cause of cancer among UK women in 25 years’ time, according to a Cancer Research UK report. These new projections calculate that in just 17 years (2035) 10% of cancers in women (around 25,000 cases) could be caused by smoking and 9% (around 23,000 cases) by excess weight. But by 2043, if trends continue as projected, excess weight could cause even more cases of cancer than smoking in women.