Get Fit with the
national NHS website, NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk)
marks the start of the Beijing Olympics with a new media package to
inspire people of all ages and ability to get active and involved in
grassroots sports and improve their fitness.
For the 1st time ever, 60 Olympians and Paralympians past and
present, take part in an interactive video wall giving their daily
health tips and motivational advice in short video clips. The
Olympians include Dame Kelly Holmes, Kriss Akabusi, Sally Gunnell,
David Cracknell, Sharron Davies and Adrian Moorehouse. Paralympians
featured include a host of medal hopefuls including Dave Roberts and
The Get Fit with the Olympics section is packed with features on
grassroots sport, inspirational case studies (from a 93-year-old
swimmer to a table tennis prodigy saved from the streets),
motivational videos and interactive tools to motivate people to
kick-start their active lifestyle during the Olympic fortnight.
Double Olympic gold medal winner, Dame Kelly Holmes, taking part in
the NHS Choices project, says:- "The Olympic Games has the
ability to inspire a generation of young people to get involved in
sport The Olympics has the ability to inspire so many people
from so many walks of life, so many backgrounds and so many
abilities and disabilities to get involved in sport.
For me, sport is about giving people the chance to have confidence,
self-esteem, leadership skills, communication skills, learn
discipline, respect, especially for youngsters while enjoying
themselves at the same time.
I think it's really important
that sport is integrated into a young person's life so that when
they are adults, it becomes normal for them.
I find that now, not being an athlete anymore, to try to fit in
where to do activities is so hard because you have demanding
lifestyles and a lack of time. But when you think about it, if you
want to still look good, healthy and energetic, you have to look at
it as a priority in your life."
Swimmer Mark Foster, 38, is one of Britain's most successful
swimmers. He will be competing in his 5th Olympic Games in Beijing
next month. Taking part in the NHS Choices project, Mark says:-
ďsport is a fun way of teaching success and failure. My
father couldn't swim - he got thrown in a lake when he was 11. He
still to this day can't swim and he was determined that myself and
my sisters would learn purely for safety reasons first and foremost,
and I think 90-95% of every Briton's holidays revolve around water
whether it be the sea or a lake etc... People need to learn that the
water is fun but there is also a serious side to it and you need to
Sally Gunnell, the only woman ever to hold 4 major track titles at
the same time, says:- "I think the thing I took from my
Olympic experience in Barcelona was just how strong the mind is.
Itís something that we all have, itís a tool...
Now if Iíve got a
certain thing I want to achieve whether thatís to lose weight, to
get fit, career change, whatever it may be, to actually take
yourself there and what that would actually feel like to achieve
it... just spend time each day actually visualising in your mind
what it would actually feel like to achieve your goal."
And not just Olympians are featured in the NHS project. People can
go online and read the thoughts of some of the millions of people
actively involved in sports in their spare time.
Monica Sutton took up rowing when she was 58 in an effort to lose
weight after developing diabetes. ďMy life seemed to
revolve around trying to lose weight. Diets and the gym were never
far from my mind but they didnít do anything for me. (In 2003) I was
approaching 20 stone and wearing size 26 dresses. I was pretty
despondentĒ In November 2003, she won a bronze medal
at the British Indoor Rowing Championships. She has dropped from a
size 26 to 12/14.
it and Bin it' - Campaign to fight litter is launched by the
taxi drivers and visitor attractions in the North West are among
those backing the Highways Agency's campaign to remind drivers of
the problems that litter can cause on motorways and major A roads.
As the Highways Agency's summer Bag it and Bin it! litter campaign
gets underway in the region, local organisations are encouraging
visitors to bag up their rubbish and dispose of it at home or reach
their destination - instead of out of their vehicle window or in a
lay by. Part of its commitment to protecting the environment,
the Highways Agency has produced a paper "Bag it and Bin it!"
litter bag which can be used to store litter until it can be
disposed of responsibly in a rubbish bin.
Among those backing the campaign in the North West are the Rheged
activities centre in Cumbria and taxi drivers and Knowsley Council
In Highways Agency
Area 10 which includes motorways and key A roads in Merseyside,
Greater Manchester, Cheshire and south Lancashire, almost £400,000
has been spent on litter clearance since November and 32,100 refuse
bags of rubbish were collected from Highways Agency roads.
Knowsley Council, whose citizens are served by the M62 and M57, is
working with the Highways Agency to tackle the problem.
As well as handing out the bags to residents visiting the Council's
One Stop Shops, it is also handing them to local taxi firms for use
by customers in their cars.
Councillor David Lonergan, Knowsley's Cabinet Member for
Neighbourhood Delivery, said:- "Knowsley's geography means it
is the gateway to Merseyside for many visitors to the region, with 2
major motorways and a busy A road running through the heart of the
We want to ensure all visitors to the area remember
it as a clean and bright place, as well as a place our residents are
proud to call home."
Councillor Ken Keith, Knowsley's Cabinet Member for Corporate and
Customer Services, added:- "We all have a part to play in
improving our environment locally and we are delighted to be able to
throw our full support behind this initiative.
At this stage we are
supporting people to ensure they dispose of litter appropriately but
in the near future, we plan to step up our enforcement action
against those who do not."
For the Highways Agency, not only is litter unsightly and a threat
to the environment, but clearing rubbish puts workers at risk of
injury from moving traffic and diverts resources away from road
maintenance and repairs. Litter can also block roadside drains and
cause localised flooding.
David Grunwell, Highways Agency North West Divisional Director,
said:- "The Highways Agency takes the issue of littering and
fly-tipping very seriously but road users can play their part in
helping us keep carriageways, verges and hard shoulders clear of
It is important that people think about the
consequences of littering, both to the environment and those roadworkers who put themselves at risk by clearing the litter that's
left behind alongside roadside verges."
Bag it! Bin it! bags, which are recyclable and biodegradable,
are available at a variety of outlets across the region such as some
motorway services areas, tourism attractions.
The bags will also be
distributed from the Highways Agency exhibition stands at shows
across England this summer.
The national campaign is backed by the RAC and IAM Motoring Trust.