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22/01/2016
Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage visits Black Country  to get people taking part in sport and physical activity

In his first official event since taking the role of Acting Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, David Evennett MP joined Margot James MP and the Black Country BeActive Partnership in Stourbridge to meet young people engaged in sports and coaching at Greenfield Primary School as well as visiting a successful Sports Social Enterprise, Unit3Sixty. 

At Greenfield Primary School David Evennett MP was greeted by pupils taking part in the Schools ‘Sporting Heroes Day’ day as well as watching a volleyball session taking place. During the visit David Evennett MP and school staff discussed the positive impact the Government’s PE and Sport Premium for Primary Schools has had on coaching, health and competition for pupils and the training of staff.

At Unit3Sixty, a 22,000 sq ft skate park facility, the Black Country team demonstrated how this successful Sports Social Enterprise is already having a positive impact on local young people as well as presenting their plans for using skateboard and line skating to work with young people with mental health issues.

During the visit to Unit3Sixty the BeActive Partnership launched two Black Country projects aimed at encouraging people to get active: What’s Your Motivation and the Black Country Sector Skills Action Plan.

What’s Your Motivation is Black Country’s approach to encouraging people to get active and become part of the workforce. The project aims to understand the issues and solutions that motivate people to become active as participants and volunteers.

The Black Country Sector Skills Action Plan is a response to supply and demand analysis to determine the gaps and shortages in the sport and physical activity sector aimed at getting more people taking part through apprenticeships, enterprise advisors and employment brokerages.

Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage David Evennett said: "It was fantastic to see the excellent work happening in the Black Country on both school and community sport.

"The government is committed to getting more young people active which is why we are investing £150 million a year in primary school sport. This funding is helping to make a real difference at schools like Greenfield.

"The brilliant Unit3Sixty facility also shows how important it is to offer non-traditional sports like skateboarding too, so that young people have a wide range of activities to choose from.”

Margot James MP said: "I was delighted to welcome the Sports Minister to Stourbridge today on his first official visit. Greenfield Primary School does fantastic work promoting healthy lifestyles and encouraging participation in sport. 

"I was incredibly impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of the school’s staff, not to mention all the children too. Unit3Sixty needs no introduction. It really is a world class facility. Gavin and Serena do an amazing job and it was great to see so many young people in action today.”

Simon Hall, Director BeActive Partnership said: "Our aim is quite simply to get more people taking part in sport and physical activity. We are delighted to launch our new campaigns today which are focused on developing the future sport workforce as well as at encouraging people to tap into their motivations for taking part and becoming active. We are already making some real progress and to be able to demonstrate to the Minister for Sport the positive impact physical activity brings physically and for mental health as shown at Greenfield Primary and Unit3Sixty, as well as the prosperity of the Black Country, is fantastic.”

Peter Bravo, Head teacher Greenfield Primary School said: "Our Greenfield children have really enjoyed welcoming David Evennett and Margot James to our ‘Sporting Heroes Day’.  David and Margot were so impressed with their skills in Brazilian football, netball, volleyball, rugby and outdoor practical maths.  At Greenfield we are determined to offer opportunities, which not only give our children a rich and varied choice of sport and physical activity in school but also enable as many as possible to take part in regular out of hour’s activities.”

Gavin Pardoe, owner Unit3Sixty said: "Unit3sixty provides an outlet for children and young people to explore freestyle activities of skateboarding BMX riding and Scootering in a safe and secure environment whilst maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle and meeting new people.”

The Black Country BeActive Partnership is one of 49 County Sports Partnerships (CSPs) in England working to provide opportunities for people to participate in sport and physical activity across the Black Country.

For more information about the BeActive Partnership and What’s Your Motivation and the Black Country Sector Skills Action Plan visit www.blackcountrybeactive.co.uk

To find out about some of the factors motivating people from the Black Country to get active view the What’s your motivation film

Photo caption (L-R): Margot James MP, David Evennett MP, Simon Hall BeActive Partnership, Simon Kirkland Chair BeActive Partnership.

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