Active Tameside’s desire to increase sport participation
Monday 1st December 2014 16:28 Ashton Denton & Audenshaw Droylsden Dukinfield Hyde Sports Stalybridge Posted by Mark Phillip

Tameside Sports Trust might live long in the memory for some people, but there’s a new title which has taken precedence of late and become somewhat popular amongst fitness enthusiasts across the borough.

Chief Executive of Active Tameside, Mark Tweedie

Chief Executive of Active Tameside, Mark Tweedie

That name in question is ‘Active Tameside’; a not for profit registered charity designed to provide value for money services in all areas of sport.

The trust was rebranded on the 28th July this year and has witnessed a surge in physical activity since its inception.

For those unaware of the rebrand and the services provided on a daily basis, a more in depth analysis was offered last Friday by Chief Executive of Active Tameside, Mark Tweedie, who caught up with Reporter Sport to shed light on what the trust has created and what plans are set for the future.

Questioned on what differences have emerged since council handed the assets over, Tweedie told us “I think the general perception from the public is that the council operate the buildings, but they don’t. They are the council’s facility but we are an independent charitable trust.”

But that’s not to say the council don’t have influence over what happens within the trust.

Despite relinquishing the facilities earlier this year, which now include swimming pools, sports halls and gyms, the council still provide a 20% grant to aid the financial side of things.“we’ve fundamentally changed since the rebrand and we’re not all about sport now” Tweedie exclaimed, “we provide swimming pools, a whole range of fully equipped gyms, and we also do community work such as programmes for adults and young people with disabilities.”

The trust stands shoulder to shoulder with its intended philosophy of getting people active, and that certainly includes those suffering with mental and physical disabilities.

Tweedie added “We’re looking at increasing the range of activity people can do and launching a programme with council public health team.

“It’s early days at the moment but we’ve developed a scheme to work with partners to come and use our leisure facilitates to enhance the current treatment people are receiving for a certain kind of condition.

“All our gyms are compliant with the various prerequisites for disabled access and we also offer disabled activity sports clubs as well.”

Active Tameside have ensured that all barriers preventing physical activity have been broken in a bid to offer residents a healthier outlook on life. “We all know we live in an ageing population now so its vital we offer services for older people who wish to remain active” he said.

“We are looking to attract older people at the moment and it’s really important because if we want to extend the quality of life then getting active is great.”

The trust are intent on ensuring the most vulnerable in society aren’t neglected either, having created a living well with dementia scheme.

At £3 per person, the scheme offers those who prefer a more relaxed afternoon the chance to congregate at Active Medlock in Droylsden and sample tea, coffee and biscuits.

The opposite end of the age spectrum is catered for too, as the trust runs holiday sports courses for children at their Medlock and Copley sites. Tweedie stated “the courses run through all the main school holidays and those wishing to apply should visit the activetameside website where application forms are available.

“They do fill up quickly and are really popular at the moment, proving to be a cheaper alternative than childcare.”

An increase in sport participation has been accompanied by a desire to pursue a career in the health industry, which is an aspect lauded by Tweedie.

The Chief Executive stated his desire to recruit more volunteers into the industry and said “We’ve launched a formal volunteer scheme this year which 100 people are currently signed up to.

“It’s certainly our ambition as an organisation to take on more apprenticeships and we have successfully done that in the past, where local people have received qualifications in coaching and gym instruction.”

Those who wish to find out more about Active Tameside and what the trust has to offer can visit their official website at: www.activetameside.com or head to the twitter and Facebook pages under the same name.