Monday, 7 April 2008

Play squash for free!

Imagine if you had a local council that, rather than pushing ineffectual government health initiatives, encouraged you to play squash.

Now imagine that the same council actually pays for your court every time you want to play ...

Given my previous article about more court closures in the UK it seems pretty far-fetched.

But it'll soon be reality for thousands of Lancashire residents ...

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Lancashire, has joined forces with the Teaching Primary Care Trust in a £6m scheme to persuade binge-drinkers and sofa-hoggers to take up (admittedly, amongst other leisure pursuits) squash.

Swimming, gym sessions, aerobics, and badminton - together with squash - will all be made free of charge to residents of the Borough in three phases during 2009.

The scheme was launched by former Olympic hurdler, Sally Gunnell OBE and Gordon Taylor OBE, Chief Exec of the Professional Footballers' Association.

Blackburn with Darwen has "the third worst level of physical activity amongst adults in the country".

The lucky things now have the opportunity to consign that dubious honour to history - without the need for the perpetually awkward "Er ... have you got some money for the court?" at the end of a game ...

"Free" leisure activities to improve your health

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