Council is working with London Sport to develop an ambitious sporting strategy for Merton

Merton Council are working with London Sport to further develop their ambitious plans to promote Merton as a sporting borough. Cabinet members were briefed on progress across the district at a cabinet meeting on December 5.

Work with London Sport, due to be completed by Spring 2023, will develop a draft Sport and Physical Activity Strategy to increase physical and sporting activity among residents, with a particular focus on those groups who face barriers to participation.

The strategy aims to give all 4-16 year olds and over 65 year olds the opportunity to take part in at least one free sports activity every week and brings together public bodies, volunteer groups, local businesses and grassroots organizations to achieve the goal .

As well as working on a strategy for the future, Cabinet was also briefed on initiatives already taking place across Merton to promote sport and physical activity.

With over 450 events already taking place each month (including yoga and exercise classes), health and wellbeing zones on loan in partnership with the Premier League and Sport England, Merton’s libraries are already great places to get active.

Work is also underway to raise awareness of green prescriptions, the Live Longer Better program for the elderly, and to encourage children and young people to cycle and walk in the area by making them fun places to be.

The Multipurpose Sports Area (MUSA) at Haydons Road is almost complete and the Colliers Wood and Merton MUSAs are also due for a refurbishment in Spring 2023; Running tennis for the over 60s is now available at Canons; and the center for ethnic minorities at Vestry Hall has already signed up many non-swimmers to swim for 30 weeks.

The council is also working with the youth charter on a tour of its founder (and former world champion in karate) Professor Geoff Thompson, who will be accompanied by Merton resident and two-time Olympic 100m hurdler Lorna Boothe MBE. The Youth Charter helps address educational, health and social inequalities faced by young people by applying the ethic of excellence in sport.

Councilor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah, Cabinet Member for Sport and Heritage and the first-ever Cabinet Member with a role dedicated to improving sport development, said:

“I am delighted that London Sport have agreed to work with us to develop a strategy for the future of sport at Merton.

“By tackling barriers to entry and focusing on making initiatives sustainable by developing them in partnership with others, this is a big step toward our goal of making Merton a sports district.”

London Herald