A unique GB-based Olympic legacy project is bringing together the public, private and education sector to place physical activity and prevention at the heart of the NHS.
Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is working with key partners in the Sheffield City Region, including Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield City Council and private sector organisations, to make a positive impact on health and wellbeing.
In just six years, the London 2012 legacy project in Yorkshire has facilitated the delivery of key investments including Oasis Academy, UTC Olympic Legacy Park and the park infrastructure that enables new investments to easily deliver the research centres, offices and laboratories including the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) which supports the development of physical activity pathways within the NHS.
The NCSEM is already enabling significant improvements in the delivery of NHS care, with the co-location of NHS services and delivery of 80,000 appointments a year from hospitals to clinics based in leisure centres – Graves Leisure Centre, Thorncliffe and Concord Sports Centre.
The NCSEM has also engaged 20,000 people in public health behaviour change programmes embedding physical activity in schools, the workplace and communities.
Former Sports Minister and the Project Lead for Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, the Rt Hon Richard Caborn, said: “One of the unique offers of the London 2012 bid was to deliver health and wellbeing legacy through the four themes of sport, economy, community and environment.
“Sheffield is the only city in the UK that is making a real impact by delivering an Olympic legacy based on world class sports at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.
“Only recently GPs were urged again to ‘prescribe’ movement to patients diagnosed with some of the most common health conditions. Sheffield is already ahead of the curve and we’re seeing tangible results at the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine with 80,000 clinical appointments per year via the three leisure centres, changing delivery of NHS care and improving patient experience.
“Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park has become the heartbeat of our region, making a real difference to the community. Now that building work has begun again on individual investments on site, we are confident on delivering even further on the Government’s strategy of prevention rather than cure.”
Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park so far comprises the Oasis Academy Don Valley school, UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, a Community Stadium which is home to the Sheffield Eagles and is to be used by Sheffield United Women’s Football Club, green areas, run routes, cycle paths and outdoor community facilities.
When complete and incorporating research centres and offices and laboratories for the private sector partners, it will bring together elite athletes, professional sports, education, new skills and applied research into one location.
Richard continued: “This is the future. We are already making a real, marked difference to the health and wellbeing of the community and the changing needs of the population.
“We made a promise to deliver on legacy through health, sport, the community and the economy, and we’re proud to showcase the tangible results from the Sheffield City Region.”