The GLA has shortlisted a healthy walking project run by Croydon Council’s sport and physical activity team for a Team London award.
The project was nominated in the sports and healthy living category, which recognised activity that encourages and supports healthier lifestyles in all sections of the community including projects which work to promote safer and more environmentally friendly modes of transport.
Accredited by the national campaigning organisation, ‘Walking for Health’, Croydon’s healthy walking scheme aims to get people out into the fresh air to enjoy the borough’s abundant green, open spaces.
As well as helping people to get fit, the project also helps encourage socialising and those taking part make many new friends. Since it was launched in 2000 hundreds of people have taken part in the walks.
Croydon has 14 different walk routes for people of all abilities. This includes a strenuous ‘Nordic walking’ course for those who want to go a step beyond a standard health walk.
The walks are run on a day-to-day basis by a team of 40 volunteers who mark the routes and lead sessions. Four of the volunteers will attend the awards ceremony on 31 October to see if they have won against competition from across London.
“Walking is probably the most overlooked form of exercise, because those of us who are able to walk do so every day. However we’re all guilty of sometimes not stretching our legs as often as we should, so this programme of organised walks is a fantastic way of reminding us of the value of regular exercise. I’m hugely grateful to the volunteers who run the project, and regardless of whether they take the top prize I know they deserve a huge vote of thanks.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport