The British Gymnastics Foundation has been given £499,991 of National Lottery funding from Sport England to help reduce the number of inactive older adults.
Sport England has put tackling inactivity at the heart of its strategy Towards An Active Nation, and launched the Active Ageing fund to tackle inactivity in the over 55s.
The National Lottery funding will assist a four-year project to develop and expand the Foundation’s Love to Move programme, which is a chair-based gymnastics exercise programme designed to get older people moving more.
The programme has proven to be particularly beneficial for people living with dementia, with research showing that many participants have regained functions which were thought to be lost.
Mike Diaper, Executive Director at Sport England said: “Being active is one of the most important things people can do to maintain health and wellbeing as they age. We’re delighted to be supporting the British Gymnastics Foundation with National Lottery funding to help get older adults leading happier and heathier lives. We’ll be sharing learnings so successful approaches can be scaled-up or replicated across the country.”
Patrick Bonner, British Gymnastics Foundation Manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this funding award from Sport England and would like to say a huge thank you to all the National Lottery players out there who are making the delivery of the Love to Move Programme possible. I know that our programme changes people’s lives for the better and helps people to function better and become more active; particularly people living with dementia.
“This funding award from Sport England will enable our charity to expand and develop the programme further, helping many thousands of older people to benefit from taking part. Over 230 organisations and individuals are interested in delivering the Love to Move programme in association with our Foundation. With this swell of interest in Love to Move, I believe that we now have the potential to improve the lives of older people; particularly those experiencing cognitive, physical and social difficulties.”
The funding will also be used to establish a group of core programme coaches and tutors who can work closely with the British Gymnastics Foundation. They will help to deliver the programme, train deliverers and contribute to the ongoing research and development of the programme.
The Foundation will also have a comprehensive research programme running alongside the delivery of the four-year project, which will aim to evaluate the programme delivery and outcomes.