Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's the Duty of Us All to Stay Young and Beautiful

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's the Duty of Us All to Stay Young and Beautiful

Article excerpt

Byline: By Iain Laing

The North-East may have more couch potatoes than most areas, but now the region is leading the country in a bid to turn off its television sets and do something more interesting instead. Iain Laing reports.

Maybe it is the cold weather, our fine local beers, pastries and cheeses or maybe we are just working too hard ( but the North-East has a pretty lousy record when it comes to keeping fit. The region has one of the UK's lowest participation rates in sport, one of the highest rates of heart disease and a higher than average death rate.

But we also have a record of fighting back against the poor hands that have been dealt us and a great record of turning out some of Britain's greatest sportspeople ( from Jackie Milburn to Steve Harmison to Alan Shearer.

And the region has been chosen to lead a campaign to improve the fitness of people across the UK by getting them involved in any form of physical activity from walking to belly-dancing.

The Everyday Sport project was launched this summer and the successful take-up of new activities by local people means it is now being rolled out nationwide.

It all kicked off at the Everyday Sport Have-a-Go Show at the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, where thousands of people were encouraged to get involved in a range of weird and wonderful pursuits ranging from the Indian national sport of kabadi to salsa.

Judith Rasmussen, regional director of Sport England North East at the time, said: "We hope the event will really tempt people in the North-East to get active and stay active.

"If people could use stairs instead of taking the lift or walk to the shops instead of driving that would be a great start."

The Have-a-Go Show also marked the launch of a nationwide database set up to advertise places for people to play sport and get fit. …

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