CEO: Sara Tomkins

Looking Ahead


Looking Forwards

What a year we’ve had in Greater Manchester. When you read some of the stories throughout this report you can see the difference the physical activity sector is making on people’s lives and people’s thinking. This inspires me, and provides the passion in all of us here at GreaterSport to continue to strive to achieve our ambition. However I emphasise what Mike said in his opening, this is the beginning and there is much more to come; over a quarter of adults (26.8%) are still inactive, which is above the national average of 25.1%.

In the next 12 months we will see;

  • Delivery begin as part of the local pilot project. As you have read in this report there has been lots of planning and listening in each area to get to this point. Stakeholder engagement is time wisely invested so we can understanding the audience and how we innovate with the opportunities to enable more people to be active in their neighbourhood. Evaluating what works is hugely important and another key area of the programme. We need to understand what works and doesn’t but most importantly why? There will be lots of learnings and it’s important we share these and build on them before we scale.
  • Last year there was some research conducted to understand the barriers of why our residents are not moving and there general awareness of how much they should move for their health. This was the building blocks for a Greater Manchester campaign aimed to raise awareness of the power of movement and provide nudges and hints and tips of how to move more every day. A campaign like no other, of this scale has been seen before in Greater Manchester for physical activity. At the time of writing this, That Counts! was launched by Mayor Andy Burnham at the GM Moving Conference. This marketing campaign compliments the work taking place in the local pilot areas as well as workforce engagement and training. Over the next 12 months That Counts! will continue to raise awareness of the benefits of moving more, how people can move more in day to day life and how many minutes of physical activity per day is a recommended target for resident’s health and wellbeing
  • The Daily Mile continue to go from strength to strength. It’s simplicity is infectious. Schools and nurseries are embracing this and I’m looking forward to hearing the impact of more workplaces getting involved in the initiative this year.
  • The variety of partners is constantly increasing, the workforce is expanding far beyond the typical ‘sports people’ which provides a real opportunity to ensure physical activity benefits are spread far and wide so that we can really ‘go where the inactive are’. It’s a challenge but one which the local pilot work and the active ageing programme is really testing.
  • There are so many developments in the technology and digital landscape that it is great to see our sector starting to capitalise on how digital transformation can enable more of us to be active. For example GM Active committed to opening their data this year, this would make finding and booking a session much easier. This is just the start of using digital and data to shape our future strategies.

The challenges

There is clearly progress to celebrate, but there is a long way to go to reach our target, and address all the inequalities. The need to stay focused on addressing inactivity; enabling those who move less than 30 minutes a week to move more every day, is still paramount.

The key challenges we face on this journey are;

  • Over a quarter of adults (26.8%) are still inactive, which is above the national average of 25.1%
  • The gap between those from lower and higher socio economic groups has not closed significantly
  • Over half of Greater Manchester’s children and young people (60.1%) are not achieving the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of 60 minutes of activity each day

We know that physical inactivity costs the health services approx. £26 million so a more active Greater Manchester would save the NHS money as well as saving lives. I’m therefore heartened to see the number of partners outside the activity sector who now recognise this and want to make a difference. If you think you can support us as we strive to reach 2 million people moving across Greater Manchester then I’d love to hear from you, please email