CEO to speak at the Why Sports conference

The Active Wellbeing Society’s Chief Executive Karen Creavin will be in London tomorrow, speaking at the Why Sports – Improving Health and Increasing Activity conference – at the Royal College of medicine. Together with partners Kerry McDonald, the LDP Senior Project Manager at Active Essex, and Rajinder Singh, the Head of Transformation at Let’s Go Southall, Karen will be delivering the Headline Sponsor Presentation – The Case for a National Free Bike Movement. We have worked with Southall in the past, and are currently collaborating with Active Essex on Essex Pedal Power (EPP).

Their presentation will cover research and delivery experience, from schemes like Big Birmingham Bikes, EPP and Let’s Ride Southall. There will also be a chance to highlight cycle training for children and young people which we deliver with Bikeability, both in schools and during the holidays; and the desire to ensure cycling is inclusive for all cultures and nationalities. This is something we have worked on recently with Shropshire Council, with a bike giveaway to young people from asylum-seeking backgrounds.

The talk will also showcase the fact that across the three locations 16,000 free bikes have now been distributed to those living in deprived communities. By the end of last month EPP had given out 1,145 in four key areas of the county – that’s nearly 50 a month since its launch two years ago. Of course, there will be an additional focus on one of the most important factors when getting people on two wheels, removing cost barriers to doing so. As well as bike giveaways we run the Big Bike Upcycle Revolution in Birmingham, taking older or unused bikes, reconditioning them, and rehoming them; and a very similar scheme in Essex, Essex Pedal Power Re:Cycles.

We’re delighted Karen has been asked to be part of this prestigious event, joining speakers from Sport England, The World Health Organization and the NHS among many others. The hope is that by coming together we will be able to remove some of the barriers to physical activity which face some of our more disadvantaged citizens.

Why Sports say: ​

“Physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for non-communicable disease mortality. People who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active.

Physical inactivity is associated with 1 in 6 deaths in the UK and is estimated to cost the UK in excess of £10 billion annually (including £1 billion to the NHS alone)…

​…We are starting to understand the importance of our collective physical literacy but the public must also improve their health literacy. The ability and confidence to use health information, make subsequent decisions and engage with health care structures and systems. 

​The 2023 Improving Health and Increasing Activity Conference represents an opportunity to assemble highly educated and passionate professionals with the knowledge and capacity required to pull off many of the complex tasks when activating the nation. A chance to further understand governments’ commitments, to shape and redesign our towns and communities and to find out about the resources and services employed in your area that can help people get active.”

At the Active Wellbeing Society we are always keen to collaborate with organisations with similar aims, and to share the learning that we have gleaned over the last five years. Conferences like this present a welcome opportunity to do so.

Alice Rosenthal
Author: Alice Rosenthal