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Spotlight on Bristol as European City of Sport 2017

Bristol is a European City of Sport for 2017. Next month the council will be launching a new campaign to give the people of Bristol a chance to access free sports and activity taster sessions from venues around the city.  Spotlight caught up with Guy Fishbourne as Bristol’s sports and physical activity development manager to find out more about what’s in store. 

Firstly, what does it mean for Bristol to be a European City of Sport for 2017?
Bristol has been awarded the title of being one of this year’s European Cities of Sport for 2017.  
 
The award is given out by ACES who are a not for profit organisation based in Brussels who judged each city on their sporting facilities, resident’s level of participation, the success of local teams and sporting events.
 
Here in Bristol we want to use this award as an opportunity to make the most of the great organisations and clubs that we already, raise the profile of our sporting and active recreation achievements.  We are hoping to bring organisations together from around the city to work together to find ways of improving people’s access to sports provision and try to encourage more residents to get active.
 
What’s coming up in May? 
This month we are very excited as to be launching our new Are You Game? campaign.
 
As part of our year as European City of Sport, clubs and organisations from across the city will be running free taster sessions throughout the summer to encourage more people to get out and try something new.
 
More than 80 organisations have signed up to offer a session as part of the ‘Are You Game?’ campaign. People will be able to choose from a wide variety of activities, including; korfball, yoga, fencing, basketball, boxing and climbing.
 
This campaign is all about encouraging people to get out and try something new as part of our year as European City of Sport.  We want to encourage people from all areas of the city to get active this year including those who would not normally get involved in sport.  We’re hoping that we can prove that there can be something for everyone.  
 
What will be happening on the 6th May?
On Saturday (6th May) to launch the Are You Game? campaign we will be hosting an afternoon of free sport for people of any age to join in with at Millenium Square.  There will be a range of sports and activities available to try for free at the event from football and tennis through to biodanza and judo. 
 
These taster sessions are being offered by clubs and organisations from around the city who are coming together to help celebrate sport the launch of the new campaign.
 
This campaign is a great opportunity for everyone to get out there and try something new this summer.  Whether it’s taking a few journeys under your own steam or taking part in a new sport we hope that this year will encourage more people to get active.
 
Why is sport and activity so important?
Bristol is an active city.  We have one of the highest participation rates out of all core cities when it comes to exercise and sport.  However there are still areas of the city which have high levels of inactivity.  
 
Currently in Bristol, 39% of adults and 83% of 15 years olds do not do enough physical activity according to government guidelines.  This inactivity can be seen to be taking a direct effect on our health.  Locally, 57% of adults register as obese or overweight and there is also a proven connection between inactivity and many serious life changing conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease as well as breast and colon cancer.
 
We hope this year will have a positive effect on the amount of people within the city who take part in sport and active recreation on a regular basis and encourage more people than ever before who wouldn’t normally get involved to get up and give it a go.   Getting active and taking part in Sports can have a great effect on our physical health and greatly improve your mental wellbeing. 
 
I hope to see as many of you out there on Saturday joining in with our celebration of sport and helping to support Bristol’s year as a European City of Sport.
 
More information can be found on Bristol’s City of Sport website: www.bristolcityofsport17.co.uk