Be active achieves Olympic 2012 recognition

bab-award-winningBe active – the award winning leisure scheme for the city of Birmingham – has been granted the ‘Inspire Mark’ – the badge of the London 2012 Inspire programme.

The London 2012 Inspire programme recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Be active – a partnership scheme of the NHS and the City Council – achieved this award as recognition for its achievements in providing free leisure for all Birmingham city residents, offering exercise classes, gym use and swimming across the city centre.

Seb Coe, Chair, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: “The Inspire programme is ensuring the legacy of the 2012 Games starts now as projects like Be Active are enabling people to in the city of Birmingham to make positive life changes.”

Saleha Williams, Head of the London 2012 Inspire Programme, who presented the Inspire award said “We promised to make the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, everyone’s Games, no matter where in the UK they may be. The Birmingham Be Active project, is a fabulous example of a project genuinely inspired by the Olympics Games, enabling people outside of London, across the entire City of Birmingham to connect to the London2012 Games. A thoroughly deserved award.”

Councillor Alan Rudge, accepting the award on behalf of the NHS and the City Council, said: “We can’t all be Olympic athletes but we can all benefit from regular exercise and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
“One in three Birmingham residents has done just that through the Be Active scheme – a unique partnership between Birmingham City Council and the NHS. We’re delighted Be Active has been granted the Inspire Mark and the scheme has most definitely inspired people across the city.”

Ranjit Sondhi, Chairman of the Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust recognises the importance of such a high profile award: “This is a fantastic achievement for Be active, and clearly sets it up there as a scheme which delivers what it set out to achieve – free leisure access for all who live in Birmingham. We are delighted with this latest award and to seeing Be active go from strength to strength.”


* Be active is a free scheme available to all Birmingham residents who pay their council tax to Birmingham City Council. Be active participants can take part in free swimming, exercise classes or the gym at any Council-run leisure centre during off-peak hours, which may vary according to each centre. Please contact your local leisure centre for more information.

For more information, please contact:

  • Anna Donaldson, Heart of Birmingham Teaching PCT.  Tel: 0121 255 0875 or 07595 088316
  • Geoff Coleman, Birmingham City Council Tel: 0121 303 3502

Notes to editors

The Inspire programme is run by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is an opportunity for everyone to be a part of the London 2012 games – a broad participation programme spanning sport participation, education, sustainability, volunteering, and business opportunities and skills. New opportunities are being created to inspire young people and encourage the whole of the UK to join in .

Be active is sponsored by the Birmingham Health and Wellbeing Partnership, made up of Birmingham City Council and the three Birmingham NHS primary care trusts – Heart of Birmingham teaching Primary Care Trust, NHS South Birmingham and NHS Birmingham East and North. It also supports the national ‘Change 4 Life’ programme.

The Be active scheme is part funded by Be Birmingham’s Working Neighbourhoods fund and aims to get people to change their lifestyle, whilst improving their health.

Be active aims:

  • Increase the number of people who regularly take part in active recreation and sport – Move from 17% to 20% of the adult population (an additional 23,000 people) being active at least three times a week
  • Improve the mental and physical health of those who take part in physical activity;
  • Promote healthy eating and enable more people to maintain a normal body weight;
  • Reduce early death and disability from chronic diseases by promoting physical activity and improving cardiovascular fitness among those who experience the most inequality in health;
  • Provide opportunities for employment, volunteering and youth inclusion;
  • Demonstrate effective partnership working to achieve better outcomes.

Be active achievements:

  • Over 300,000 people now on the scheme i.e. 1 in 3 Birmingham residents
  • Attendance at gym, fitness classes and swimming is up by 10% on the last year
  • Hardest to reach groups participating in large numbers including Bangladeshi and Pakistani women.
  • Lifestyle advice now being offered in leisure centres
  • A range of classes and additional activities now on offer to suit local needs
  • 38 FTE posts now created through its lifetime, primarily within leisure
  • 22 new full time leisure posts created from the increased demand
  • Over £500,000 of gym refurbishments including the city’s first women’s only gym

Achieved the following awards:

  • LGC Health & Wellbeing award 2009
  • AHC Social marketing award 2009
  • AHC overall award for best social  marketing 2009
  • Guardian health inequalities award 2009
  • Guardian overall winner award 2009
  • Health Service Journal Best Social Marketing award 2009
  • Health Service Journal secretary of state award for excellence in healthcare management 2009
  • LGC reputation award; social  marketing 2010
  • World Leisure Innovation Award

Equal split between men / women

Average of 1,200 new sign ups per week

When asked what the biggest barrier to exercise was, 40% of respondents said cost

Video case study :

Roselyn Mighty from Nechells weighed 22 stone when she signed up to the Be active scheme. She said ; “I was very heavy, very lazy. Didn’t do much at home except eat, drink, sleep and watch TV. That’s all I did. Joining the scheme has made me healthier. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight and I’m happier within myself. I lost over eight stone and that’s thanks to being on the Be active scheme.”

Be Active
Author: Be Active