Mayor of London Entices Londoners to Try Out Free Sports

February 9, 2012

Boris Johnson, ailment The Mayor of London, doctor |  has struck a partnership with adidas to urge Londoners to check out the wide range of free sporting activities that are available across the capital.

A new poster and online marketing campaign will highlight the sports that Londoners can try at more than 130 locations across the city as part of the Mayor’s £35 million Sports Legacy Programme, therapy | established to get more Londoners fit and active in the run up to 2012 and beyond.

The campaign comes as research commissioned by the Greater London Authority shows that the vast majority of Londoners (83 per cent) are taking part in physical exercise, with two thirds (66 per cent) exercising more than once a week and over a third (35 per cent) exercising three or more times a week.

The ICM poll of 1,000 people also revealed that around six in 10 Londoners who exercise (61 per cent) want to do more exercise. This suggests there is a healthy appetite to get involved with sporting activity in the capital, although those from the least affluent backgrounds are more likely to say that they never do any exercise – 31 per cent compared to 13 per cent for more affluent backgrounds.

The Mayor is particularly keen to encourage more young Londoners to get active. Today he announced a funding boost of more than £140,000 to help to increase sports participation among young people in deprived parts of London. Thanks to a grant of £142,000 from the Mayor, national sports charity StreetGames will set up eight ‘YUSport’ hubs across eight London estates, including Enfield, Waltham Forest, Haringey, Lewisham, Bromley, Lambeth and Hammersmith and Fulham.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “With less than six months to go before the greatest show on earth there has never been a better time for Londoners to get fit and active. Young people in particular can benefit hugely from the focus and discipline that taking up a sport can provide. Whether it’s fencing or football, pole vaulting or ping-pong, there is a huge choice of activities to try. The sporting landscape in the capital is far from gloomy and I urge all Londoners to check out what’s on offer.”

Nick Craggs, Marketing Director for adidas UK, added: “We are proud to help support the Mayor of London in the Freesport campaign to get more Londoners active in the run up to London 2012 and beyond. As a London 2012 sponsor, adidas believes it is vitally important that free sporting facilities are made available and accessible if we are truly going to get the nation participating in sport.”

The Mayor’s Commissioner for Sport, Kate Hoey MP, commented: “This new research indicates that things in London really are heading in the right direction in terms of participation in sport. Of course there is much more still to do, but there really are a lot of opportunities out there. This campaign is about highlighting some of these opportunities and ensuring that every Londoner is able to feel some kind of tangible benefit from London 2012.”

Jane Ashworth, CEO of StreetGames, said: “StreetGames is delighted to have been awarded the funding to deliver this exciting partnership project. With London 2012 around the corner, YUSport hubs give us a great opportunity to provide access to new sporting opportunities in local communities, working with local people to create an Olympic legacy.”

Anyone who takes part in one of the free sporting activities will be eligible to enter a draw for one of 50 Adidas vouchers worth £100 each.

by Ismail Uddin