On Tuesday 1 November, North Riding FA held a launch event at Middlesbrough Football Club’s Riverside Stadium to introduce its new Health & Wellbeing Strategy, which aims to ensure football is an accessible health enabler for all.
The launch event was attended by a whole range of partner organisations including Active Sports Partnerships, Public Health, Local Authorities and Voluntary Community organisations. Presentations were given by North Riding FA staff showcasing a range of projects and partners were asked to pledge their support in tackling some of the health inequalities that exist across the county.
Within our county, we know that over 21,500 registered players of all ages and 5,000 volunteers help keep our grassroots game a core health and wellbeing choice every season.
Health and wellbeing outcomes in Teesside and North Yorkshire continue to improve with more people living healthier and longer lives compared to previous years. Over the last 10-15 years, all age all-cause mortality rates have continued to fall for both men and women. However, the local rate of improvement needs to be accelerated to reduce the gap that exists both within North Riding and between respective local authorities’ comparison to the national averages.
This is where we aim to make a difference through our new strategy.
Steven Wade, North Riding FA CEO, said: “This strategy is not intended to be just another shelf health and wellbeing document, but rather a “call to action” with relatable recommendations for all our key stakeholders, within achievable timescales.
“The strategy will outline the key challenges identified by our members, and where their priorities lie to enhance and maintain their health and wellbeing. We of course appreciate that alone we cannot achieve any of the goals and objectives outlined within this strategy without the support of our amazing grassroots football community in the county. It is only through real partnership working, that together we can ensure that football will become a key health and wellbeing intervention within our County FA.”
Paul Kreczak, Executive Director of Tees Valley Sport, added: “There are significant health challenges and wide-ranging inequalities within our region which have increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is vital that partners work together to identify and support the local people who would benefit most from being active. Football has an unrivalled power to engage individuals and whole communities, so I am delighted that North Riding FA have launched a Health & Wellbeing Strategy. Their commitment to work with partners and use the sport’s popularity and profile to help tackle local health issues has the potential to impact change at a population level. We look forward to working with them.”
To view this strategy in full, please click below.
VIEW STRATEGY DOCUMENT HERE