Physical Activity & Wellbeing
As the Games for Everyone we would like our legacy on physical activity and wellbeing to mean that we inspire and offer targeted opportunities for the people of the West Midlands to improve and sustain levels of physical activity.
We are focusing our efforts on the most inactive and underrepresented groups. We support the improvement of physical and mental wellbeing and are keen to accelerate mental health awareness. We are keen to use this opportunity to encourage and support walking and cycling as modes of transport and for health and activity.
For Communities & Individuals
Create opportunities for people to be more active
We aim to establish a number of targeted ‘Commonwealth Active Communities’ within the West Midlands. This programme aims to support currently inactive people to become more active and will be the cornerstone of an additional £4 million investment from Sport England into the region.
Commonwealth Active Communities will be co-created with local people. Sport England is listening to communities, grassroots organisations, local sports clubs, local volunteers, and other partners to understand priorities, what works and where investment is most needed, such as how to better utilise open spaces and parks for exercise or how to support people to cycle and walk more.
Accelerate mental health awareness
Alongside physical activity, the pandemic has reinforced the need to focus on mental wellbeing. We want to use the power of the Games to accelerate awareness and understanding of mental health and wellbeing issues by focusing on three areas:
- Games-time wellbeing: we will explore how we can support a focus on wellbeing at the time of the Games, using Birmingham 2022 as a positive national moment.
- Workplace wellbeing: supporting the mental health and wellbeing of those who work on, or are involved in, the Games including:
- Mental health awareness training for Games-time volunteers.
- Support the Games workforce’s wellbeing at work and positioning mental health first aid as equally important as physical first aid.
- Supporting Mental Health in Construction workers, highlighting mental health challenges and encouraging simple steps to improve wellbeing. A mental health awareness campaign specifically for construction workers is underway at three key Games sites: Alexander Stadium, Sandwell Aquatics Centre and at the Perry Barr Regeneration Scheme.
Encourage and support walking and cycling
Walking and cycling are accessible ways to help tackle inequalities in physical activity. Using the Games as the catalyst, we want to support the uptake of cycling and walking in the West Midlands.
- Cycling – we want to build on and amplify existing regional plans to lower barriers to cycling and walking.
- Canals and rivers – As part of Commonwealth Active Communities, our aim, working closely with the Canal and Rivers Trust and local partners, is to encourage even more walking and cycling, as well as a range of water-based activities.
- Cannock Chase – with support from a £500,000 investment from the Sport England-British Cycling-DCMS Places to Ride Programme and investment from other partners, Forestry England will develop a safe, traffic-free, off-road cycling experience at Cannock Chase Forest Centre.
“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that regular exercise is more important than ever to keep us feeling fit and healthy – both physically and mentally. I think it’s great that Birmingham 2022 is shining a light on local projects that promote this and my hope is that more people are inspired get involved in the various activities on offer in their community.”
Ama Agbeze, Team England netball player and Official United by Birmingham 2022 ambassador