Pilot transport project launched to promote participation in sport
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Pilot transport project launched to promote participation in sport

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A new pilot project designed to determine whether free bus pass provision can increase children’s participation in sport and physical activity is now underway in Greater Manchester.

The project, called Ticket 2 Sport, involves nearly 60 young people and has been organised by Bury Metropolitan Council, Bolton Council and Salford Community Leisure, in partnership with GreaterSport and the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE).

Jackie Veal sports development manager of Bury Metropolitan Council said the project was conceived after a survey of year 9 children, commissioned by the NorthWest Regional Development Agency and conducted by Knight, Kavanagh & Page, found that one of the reasons young people do not take part in physical activity is that getting to and from sport and activity clubs is a barrier.

The survey captured the views of more than 56,000 young people from 500 schools across 43 local authorities, between March and July 2004.

It found that 66 per cent of children with access to a car took part in physical activities, compared to 54 per cent who did not.

Parental involvement was another major factor, as the survey found that children with parents or siblings who participated in sport where 30 per cent more likely to follow suit.

There were other causes that cannot be so easily remedied, such as the fact that when asked why they didn’t participate in physical activities, around a quarter of girls replied simply that they did not want to.

John Eady from Knight, Kavanagh and Page said: “If you walk into a secondary school, you might see boys running around playing football, but girls often just stand around talking.”

He added: “Surveys like this are causing policy makers to reassess what they’re doing.”

All participants in Ticket 2 Sport have been asked to keep journals and follow up research will be undertaken.

Richard Saunders, chief executive of GreaterSport, said: “It is fantastic to see projects like the Ticket 2 Sport pilot taking place as a result of partners working together. Indicative results from the Year 9 Survey were used to provide an initial evidence-based approach to the development of the pilot, and information gained from the project will further our understanding of the importance of transport barriers.”

GMPTE’s strategy director, Keith Howcroft, said: “Hopefully the project will come up with some real solutions to help young people to easily get to their local sports facilities easily by public transport.”

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A new pilot project designed to determine whether free bus pass provision can increase children’s participation in sport and physical activity is now underway in Greater Manchester.
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