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8 Aug 2006

A scheme designed to get more people more active, more often in the communities first area of Cwmaman is delivering on its promise.

The Cwmaman Health Group received a £620 Sports Council for Wales Community Chest grant to deliver a mixed bag of physical activity opportunities. The lottery funded cash enabled the group to kick start activity in the area by offering a month-long programme of activities entirely free of charge. Sessions continued once the month ended but became self-funded.

Individuals who were apprehensive about trying traditional physical activities like aerobics were tempted by tai chi, tea dance and belly dancing sessions. Sessions also offered older and less able members of the community the opportunity to socialise with like minded people and gain the confidence to try out some new activities.

After testing out tai chi, one female member soon progressed to chair exercise classes, walking and gym sessions. Her mum was also persuaded to join in with the chair classes and credits kicking her 45-year smoking habit to an increased awareness of the importance of healthy living.

Following the health month taster sessions, many classes have continued. Activity has spiraled, word has spread and the group hopes that yet more people will come forward and begin to change their lifestyle habits in a positive way. Further taster sessions are on the horizon, with the hope of tempting more residents to find out what physical activity works for them.

If you’re interested in testing out some new activities in Cwmamon, contact Sue Wakefield, Health Development Worker on .

Since 1999 the Sports Council’s National Lottery funded Community Chest scheme has spread its prize pot to just under 10,000 projects Wales wide, providing opportunities for people living in every area of Wales to get out there and active.

Communities across the principality have reaped the rewards of the Sports Council’s commitment to creating new and improved sport and physical activity opportunities.

Traditionally supporting sports clubs and sporting organisations, the remit has since expanded in response to the Welsh Assembly Government’s Sport and Physical Activity Strategy ‘Climbing Higher.’ So while the scheme is still supporting traditional sports and activities, it is also adopting alternative approaches to getting more people more active, more often. Priority has shifted to delivering opportunities for everybody to engage in physical activity, whether that be during work time, spare time, social time or retirement.

The Sports Council for Wales is urging more projects in Rhondda Cynon Taff to come forward to apply for the £71,170 of Community Chest funding available to the area. For more information and to find out whether your project is eligible for a grant worth up to £750, please contact your local authority sports development team.