'Cinderella' sport put back on map - but we need your help

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Sport Torbay cannot do it alone - Credit: Submitted

Sport is on the move in Torbay - but it needs the support of the local clubs.

Sport Torbay, the former Torbay Sports Council, is working with key partners including councillors, Torbay Council officers, clubs, Active Devon, Sport England and governing bodies to put sport back on the map in the Bay

It is playing a leading a role in a new Torbay on the Move initiative being driven by the council and public health aimed at using sport and physical activity to deliver healthier lifestyles and improve the wellbeing of residents.

A 'Re-setting Sport' working party has been set up with various bodies including Torquay United. A sports and playing facilities strategy is being compiled.

A special mapping exercise is also being carried to see how sport and leisure can help some of the resort's most deprived and disadvantaged areas.

New relationships are being forged with Sport England and governing bodies with the possibility of a sports 'summit' to follow.

In a significant move deputy council leader Darren Cowell has  also secured three-year, £90,000 council funding for clubs especially to help get people back into sport after the pandemic. Details of how to apply for the funding will be released shortly.

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Sport Torbay chairman Jim Parker said: "The importance of sport and physical activity in everybody' lives is finally being recognised. It isn't just about kicking a football about. It is about tackling obesity and mental as well as physical wellbeing.

"Sport in the Bay has always moaned about being the 'Cinderella'. With a new council regime all that has changed. Now we need the clubs to come forward and take part."

The rallying call went out at the last Sport Torbay meeting where Brian Mason, from the council's children's services gave a informative and useful presentation about Child Exploitation and how the clubs and their coaches could look out for it and know how to do deal with it.

Sport Torbay now has a Facebook page where people are being encouraged to  sign up. Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/sporttorbay.

On there, you will also find details of Sport Torbay's annual meeting on Thursday April 19 at 7pm with all clubs invited.