So many ways to get in shape

Hartlepool Borough Council activity officer Liam Lewis with a copy of the Mail's campaign poster
Hartlepool Borough Council activity officer Liam Lewis with a copy of the Mail's campaign poster

IT’S growing fast!

The Hartlepool Mail’s Race For Fitness campaign is attracting support from far and wide.

And the latest organisation to give its backing to our campaign, to get 2,012 people in Hartlepool and east Durham to improve their health by the time the Olympic flame is lit on July 27, is Hartlepool Borough Council’s sport and recreation team.

At a time when more than 100 people are still dying of heart disease in Hartlepool each year, the council has highlighted the vast range of events and facilities available to town residents.

The Mail will be highlighting them as part of our campaign in the coming weeks.

Principal recreation officer Maxine Crutwell said: “We are committed to enhancing the lives of the people of Hartlepool.

“Our aim is to get more people participating in sport and physical activity.”

As well as Maxine, the council’s activity officer, Liam Lewis, is supporting the campaign.

Numerous groups have now backed our campaign including the British Heart Foundation, the alcohol awareness group Balance, the anti-smoking organisation FRESH, the Burn Road Harriers athletics club, and the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

The council’s sport and recreation team have highlighted the many activities available in town for anyone wanting to improve their health – and they don’t cost the earth.

Maxine added: “We have tailored programmes to meet the needs of individuals whether they are taking up physical activity after a long period of time or just starting.”

Among its services are:

l The Hartlepool Exercise for Life (H.E.L.P) service which is a GP referral scheme for people with chronic health conditions arthritis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, diabetes and coronary heart diseasde.

It is currently funded as a partnership between the council and also NHS Hartlepool.

Its sessions look at everything from resistance training to exercises in chairs. Its aim is to encourage people to be more aware of the benefits of regular physical activity and forthcoming courses will cover issues such as technogym at the Headland Sports Hall from Wednesday, February 15, and knee therapy at the Mill House Leisure Centre studio room from Wednesday, February 1.

l The Walk About in Hartlepool scheme, first launched in March last year.

Its aim is to get people to take part in walking, raise awareness of green spaces, and show there’s plenty of attractive strolls to be had in town.

The scheme has six walks running weekly, one running monthly and three extra weekly walks being run via external organisations.

For those keen to try an extra challenge, a five-mile walk organised by the British Heart Foundation will start in Ward Jackson Park on Sunday, February 26, at 11.30am.

l Nordic walking, in which people try walking with Nordic poles. It starts on Wednesday, January 18, at the Newburn car park, Seaton Carew, at 5.30pm. The six-week programme costs £15.

And Nordic walking for the over-50s begins on Monday, January 16, at the same venue and the cost is the same.

l The Men’s Begin To programme which encourages males to take up physical activity.

This includes Men Begin to Run, Men Begin to Cycle, Men Begin to Gym and Men Begin to Indoor Fitness.

And on top of that, the Men’s Begin to Spinning programme is being held at the Mill House Leisure Centre.

The programme costs £15 for six weeks and starts on Tuesday, January 24 at 5.15pm.

A second programme with the same cost and over the same timescale runs from Friday, January 27, from 5pm.

The council runs the Mill House Leisure Centre, Brierton Sports Centre, Headland Sports Hall, Summerhill Outdoor Sports Centre and Nature Reserve, Carlton Outdoor Education Centre and Grayfields Sports Pavilion.

Its activities range from football for tots to swimming lessons, and BMX biking at Summerhill to abseiling and gorge walking.

For more details on any of the schemes, contact (01429) 284414 or email: sport.recreation@hartlepool.gov.uk