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Health and Fitness in Falmouth and Penryn

A l e c M at r av e r s A l i s ta i r R u f f F e r g u s C o l e s L i ly R i t t e r M at t L o d e y R h i a n n o n P o o l e S a m u e l J e f f r ey

research report documenting exercise and activity trends in fa l m o u t h a n d p e n r y n no use without permission c o n ta c t : a l i s ta i r . r u f f @ g m a i l . c o m

Community Research time-plan 17th Mind maps exploring initial ideas/ issues. Identify key area and chose appropriate research methods.

18th h t 9 1

Observe behaviour at Gylly Beach


23rd Produce games for School visit Conduct interviews at Gylly Beach and Ships and Castles

Observe behaviour at Ships and Castles



Contact local primary schools and scout groups to arrange visit Interview Ships and Castles employee (lifeguard)

Contact Ships and Castles to arrange visit Design Questionnaire for interviews at Ships and Castles and Gylly Beach

Collate and analyse results Write briefs Complete presentation and practice

25th Attend arranged school visit to establish further research opportunities

22nd Design research games to be played at school visit


4 :5

20 + :30

G y l ly n g va s e b e a c h - F r i d ay 1 3 : 0 0 - 1 4 : 0 0 - O b s e r vat i o n o f u s e

6 2







3 10 2

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h i p s a n d C a s t l e s p o o l - S u n d ay 1 5 : 0 0 - 1 6 : 0 0 - O b s e r vat i o n o f u s e

Less people appear to e n g ag e in activity during w e e k d ay s t h a n on weekends


People prefer doing activity with c o m pa n y , w h e t h e r t h i s be human or canine.



C o l l at e d O b s e r vat i o n S tat i s t i c s - Fa l m o u t h L e i s u r e Fa c i l i t i e s

On a Sunday afternoon, we observed a high amount of father and child groups, is this common?

Yes, that’s an interesting observation, I’m not sure why, but it is common. Are there any initiatives to encourage pool use by families?

During the holidays we hold ‘Fun sessions’ designed for children and families. On Friday evenings we have the ‘Wave Rave’ with music, mainly attended by 8-15 year olds. Of course there’s also the weekly lessons. Do most parents swim with children?

Mostly yes, but there is a noticeable amount that will sit on the side whilst their child swims. Are there any noticeable problems with the facilities at the pool?

It doesn’t cater for ‘real’ swimmers, nowhere in Falmouth does. Do the users of the pool use more than one facility, or only attend specific classes?

There is a big uptake of evening exercise classes, but as far as I’m aware people only ever attend one class, or do one activity at a time. S a m u e l G l a z e b ro o k - S h i ps a n d C a st l e s l i f eg ua r d - I n t e rv i ew

Conclusions of Gyllyngvase beach observation Observation at Gyllyngvase beach provided useful information but as with all observations it had distinct limitations. Attempting to categorise people into specific groups was difficult without speaking to them directly and establishing exactly why they were at the beach on that day and that time. We specifically intended to gather quantitative data regarding the use of one of Falmouth’s main outdoor ‘facilities’ for exercise, due to weather and the time we visited the overall use was low but we were still able to draw useful conclusions. We noted particularly that very few people used the beach alone, the majority of users were walking a dog or in a group, whether these may be family groups or friendship groups. During the time we observed (Friday - 13:00 - 14:00) there was, as expected, very few family groups in attendance. This was expected as all children of school age would have been in school, and the majority of parents would likely be working in some capacity. The only family groups were either parents with children below school age, or above school age. Conclusions of Ships and Castles Observation and staff interview Observation at ships and castles also prevented its own problems, specifically the time we observed. The attendance at the pool is naturally greatly affected by what classes being run at the specific time of day. It is likely that we would observe very different groups of people using the facilities at different times of the day, in a much more regimented pattern than any outdoor space. This is backed up by comments from the lifeguard who confirms that the timetable incorporates various specific classes at different times. At the time of our Observation (Sunday - 15:00 - 16:00) we noticed a large amount of Father-child groups, another observation backed up by our interview with the lifeguard. We recognised the need to speak to those attending to be able to draw major conclusions from these observations; this will be our next method of research. From the interview and observations we noticed a feeling that the majority of users of Ships and Castles are children, it seems that parents do not feel able to engage with the facilities that are available.

Who do you use Gylly Beach with? (Walking Dogs, running, swimming, general leisure)



Both alone and in groups

Do you consider walking (alone or with dog) exercise?



What Other forms of exercise do you undertake?

Swimming Running

Gym Classes




Horse riding

Aqua Aerobics


G y l ly b e a c h u s e r s - W e d n e s d ay 1 3 : 0 0 - 1 4 : 0 0 - I n t e r v i e w s

Wii fit

Do you use indoor or outdoor facilities?


Outdoor Both

Do you think Falmouth provides sufficient facilities for family exercise?




Do you think existing facilities are inclusive for all ages?




G y l ly b e a c h u s e r s - W e d n e s d ay 1 3 : 0 0 - 1 4 : 0 0 - I n t e r v i e w s

Conclusions drawn from Gyllyngvase beach interviews Overall, the spontaneous interviews held on Gyllyngvase beach were successful with people happy to speak after we had established that we were conduction research for a University project and more importantly that it wouldn’t take too much of their time. From earlier observations at the beach we noticed a large amount of people either walking dogs or walking socially and were keen to establish the motives behind these actions. Did the people consider it exercise of was it primarily about walking the dog or meeting friends? From interviews we established that the majority of people would consider the walking as exercise but it wasn’t the primary motive for the activity, which tended to be the social aspects of the activity. As we are conducting the research in Cornwall, an area renowned for its outdoor spaces, we were keen to establish where people engaged in exercise, did the surroundings encourage them to exercise outdoors? Overall there was a fairly even split, although people enjoyed the outdoors, people were keen to use equipment and classes that were held indoors, naturally the weather was also important in this decision as many noted that heading outdoors in Cornwall is ‘risky’. We were keen to establish how the residents in Falmouth felt about the provision of leisure facilities, particularly whether they were inclusive to the range of ages and people groups in Falmouth. There were issues raised with Ships and Castles which are discussed further in the interviews held at the pool. Many were keen to point out that Falmouth’s best facilities were the outdoor spaces which are accessible to all, regardless of age or ability. Difficulties such as weather limited the number of people at the Beach and issues with wind and sea noise prevented us recording the interviews effectively, however we were able to gather useful qualitative data.

What facilities does your child use at Ships and castles?

Swimming lessons Does your child use the pool/leisure facilities with other people or alone?


With Others


Is this your child’s main source of fitness?



Are there any facilities that you would like to have access to or to be improved?



Do you feel the facilities are inclusive to families?

Yes Does your child enjoy the facilities?

Yes Ships and Castles - Wednesday 16:00-17:00 - Interviews

Conclusions from Ships and Castles Interviews There were many difficulties with conduction interviews at Ships and Castles, we sought permission to conduct them but there was a very confused system as to who we should obtain this from. We were eventually able to conduct the interviews but the majority of people were either in a rush to attend a class or leave a class. For obvious reasons people were not happy for us to film or record the interviews as many of them had children with them and again were in a rush. We were keen to establish whether the residents of Falmouth feel the leisure facilities were adequate for the size of the town and inclusive to the wide variety of ages and people groups in Falmouth Many people responded that Ships and Castles is very much childfocused with nowhere to for ‘proper’ swimming. It was also noted that there is almost not classes specifically for teenagers past 15, with classes being targeted at young children (swimming lessons and Wave Rave) and adults (aqua aerobics and Dawn Dippers). The problems encountered at Ships and Castles were symptomatic of the rest of the project. We had great difficulty in being able to gain access to children’s opinions during a short period of time. Schools were interested in the project as it was an important issue to them but as they are busy places were not able to accommodate activities at such short notice. At Ships and Castles parents weren’t keen to allow us film or record interviews with their children but we were able to get some opinions from them.

- Design a system or product that encourages parents to engage in physical activity with their child/children - Design a system or product that encourages children to participate in walking with their parents along coastal paths

- Design a system or a product that motivates individuals to exercise even when alone Chosen Briefs

Health and fitness in Falmouth and Penryn  

A research doucment compiled through user-centred research techniques, exploring fitness and activity within Falmouth and Penryn (Cornwall,...

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