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“Physical activity is a way we can engage hard-toreach groups like over-50s and young children without feeling there’s a competitive edge to it. We need to promote physical activity at the extremes of age.”

A healthy investment During her time working as a doctor, Allin-Khan saw

 Rosena Allin-Khan was elected MP for Tooting after previous MP Sadiq Khan became the Mayor of London

“The club has sessions for under-11s, youth groups and white collar boxing where anybody can come and train,” she says. “Rather than advertise the boxing element, they talk about the benefits of training and keeping fit. You don’t even have to get into the ring.

“In my role I apply as much pressure as possible to ensure sport and physical activity is accessible to

first hand what a sedentary lifestyle can do to people.

everyone,” she adds, explaining that she is intent on

While she admits it’s difficult to quantify the extent

working with local authorities to demonstrate the

to which physical activity would have prevented

benefits of investing in physical activity. Taking money

the ailments of her patients, she is convinced that

out of physical activity, she says, is a “false economy”.

investment in sport and physical activity strategies

“More will need to be spent on social services for

can lessen the burden on the NHS.

She explains: “When you see people coming into hospital who’ve had heart attacks, who have diabetes,

young children, as evidence shows that if we don’t invest in the early years then more money gets spent on social care later on,” she says.

mental health problems, problems with alcoholism

“More money will be spent on older people in the

– all the research shows that being fit and healthy and

NHS, and mental health is a classic example. The

active improves outcomes in all of these groups.”

mental health budget is being cut and everyone is

Social cohesion is also an issue close to Allin-Khan’s

feeling the squeeze. I’ve seen first hand as a doctor just

heart, and she talks fondly about some of the

what physical activity can do for rates of depression.

initiatives Balham Boxing Club has developed to ensure

It can get people back in the workforce, increase their

it is accessible to everyone in the community.

self-esteem and improve the local economy.” ●

sportsmanagement.co.uk

Issue 128  November/December 2016

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Profile for Leisure Media

Sports Management November/December 2016 issue 128  

Sports Management August 2016 issue 125 Sports Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global sports faci...

Sports Management November/December 2016 issue 128  

Sports Management August 2016 issue 125 Sports Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global sports faci...