Tens of thousands of volunteers have been praised for their support of grassroots sport to improve health across North Yorkshire and bring communities together to tackle social isolation.
Work is under way to highlight the importance of physical activity and to encourage people to be more active to improve their well-being.
More than 100,000 volunteers are playing a vital role in supporting grassroots sport in North Yorkshire and promoting an active lifestyle.
The network of sports clubs and organisations across the county is seen as an extremely important resource to achieve the aims of helping residents to adopt healthier lifestyles.
It is hoped that the chance to join a sports club will also help people to engage with like-minded individuals to tackle social isolation.
Director of public health Louise Wallace has identified the need to encourage people to become more active as a key priority to boost health.
Executive member for health and adult services, Cllr Michael Harrison, said: “The importance of a healthy lifestyle is well documented, and we are committed to encouraging people across North Yorkshire to embrace this and to be more active wherever they can.
“Grassroots sports plays such an important role, as it helps people engage in their communities and find inspiration from others to help them keep active.”
NHS guidelines state that adults aged 19 to 64 should do some form of physical activity every day, and exercise just once or twice a week can reduce the risk of serious medical conditions, such as heart disease or stroke.
Research by the Sport and Recreation Alliance, which represents the sport and recreation sector nationally, has also shown the importance of a healthier lifestyle. It revealed that grassroots sport and recreation deliver a wide range of benefits, including improved physical and mental well-being.
The study showed physical inactivity is the fourth largest cause of disease and disability in the UK – 33 per cent of men and 45 per cent of women are not active enough for good health.
According to data from Sport England’s Active Lives research, 114,000 people in North Yorkshire volunteered to support sport between November 2021 and November 2022 – more than a fifth of the county’s adult population.
North Yorkshire Sport’s chief executive, David Watson, said: “Volunteering in grassroots sport can be hugely rewarding, enabling people to use their transferrable skills in a new environment while meeting new people, making friends and inspiring others to be active.
“I would encourage anyone who wants to get involved to get in touch either with North Yorkshire Sport or the council and we will be happy to help.”
Find more information about volunteering in North Yorkshire.
Read about the volunteers below