Do What Moves You

We have launched a new strategy for Sport and Physical Activity (SPA) at Leeds.

Our new Sport and Physical Activity strategy aims to improve the health and wellbeing of staff, students and local communities

New SPA strategy launched, December 2019

Do What Moves You builds on the success of the previous strategy, Climbing Higher, which saw the University ranked fifth for sport provision in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2018.

The vision of the new strategy is to be ‘Leeds – The Best University for Being Active’. We want to be as inclusive as possible, and through our facilities, services and partnerships, we will create an inspiring environment where the choice for staff, students and local communities to be active is easy, accessible and rewarding.

We have five main goals:

  • improved wellbeing for staff and students
  • students ready for their future
  • enriching the student experience
  • creating a positive impact on the city; and
  • demonstrable commitment to sustainability.

We aim that by 2022, 75% of the campus population will be physically active, with exercise embedded into our daily lives. It is important to us that colleagues have a healthy, balanced lifestyle, and we offer many ways to get active, including discounted Edge membership, Get Out Get Active classes and activities plus the opportunity to play in our social leagues.

We hope that as staff, you will support our vision and encourage each other to be regularly active, either by attending activities together or by simply advocating the benefits of getting away from your desk at lunchtime and getting moving.

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport, said: “It is pleasing to be building from a position of strength.

Do What Moves You sets exciting but realistic goals that, when realised, will provide a healthier and happier University for students and staff alike. We look forward to working with all our partners in realising these ambitions.”

Enriching people’s lives

We know sport and physical activity plays a huge role in enriching students’ time at Leeds, preparing them for their future and improving employability. Research shows that graduates who engaged with sport at university went on to earn more than those who didn’t, and more than half (51%) said sporting involvement has helped them develop teamwork skills and leadership qualities in the workplace (The Impact of Engagement in Sport on Graduate Employability, BUCS and SIRC, 2013).

We would love for you to be advocates of Do What Moves You, encouraging students to get involved in all that sport has to offer.

But the new strategy doesn’t only focus on University staff and students – we are also committed to creating a positive impact on the city. There are opportunities to develop existing partnerships established as part of Climbing Higher, with students encouraged to develop their skills in the wider community through volunteering.

It is also important that we focus on delivering these targets with a sustainable approach, which is why we’ve incorporated the University’s sustainable goals within the strategy. This will ensure we are operating in a manner that is balancing environmental, social, economic and cultural opportunities.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor, presents the Health and Wellbeing Champions Award to Grace Roberts, Louise Walton and Ellie Dean for their role in the Couch to 5K initiative. December 2019Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor, presents the Health and Wellbeing Champions Award to Grace Roberts, Louise Walton and Ellie Dean for their role in the Couch to 5K initiative 

Case study: Couch to 5K

Get Out, Get Active hosts a nine-week entry-level Couch to 5K programme to encourage staff and students to get involved in physical activity and increase their self-confidence about running.

Two of the programme’s run leaders are colleagues Grace Roberts and Louise Walton. Grace, from Educational Engagement, and Louise, from the School of Psychology, were instrumental to the success of the initiative; guiding participants through the programme and developing sessions so they were flexible and sensitive to individual needs. Sessions involved a mixture of running, jogging and walking to help participants progress and build up their fitness, whilst improving their technique and knowledge about running in a safe, social and friendly environment.

Grace and Louise, together with fellow volunteer leader, Ellie Dean, from SPA, were recognised for their inspiring work with the Health and Wellbeing Champions accolade, as part of the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Health and Safety 2019.

Visit the SPA website and tell us what we can do to help get you, your colleagues and our students more active on campus.

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