Thursday, April 26, 2012

#communitysport blog: @womensinstitute

Our latest blog in our Community Sport series comes from Rhian Connick. Rhian joined the Women’s Institute in 1998 as Head of NFWI Wales.

Prior to joining the WI, she gained a degree in Human Movement Studies and Sport Science. Previous roles included classroom assistant in a school for children with visual impairments; senior assistant manager in a busy city leisure centre; and development officer with the charity Scope.

Sport and leisure have been an important part of the Women’s Institute (WI) for many years and recently - thanks to funding from Sport Wales - the WI has developed its WISE (Women Into Sensible Exercise) Scheme which aims to encourage women to make healthy lifestyle changes with the aim of improving their health.

The WISE scheme has enabled over 2,000 members to participate in a range of physical activities. 

Members have seen many benefits such as consistent weight loss, reduced blood pressure, generally better health and a slight reduction in taking medication, and along the way they have had great fun participating in activities in their community.

But the organisation does not only concern itself with the health of its members - as mothers and grandmothers - WI members recognise the value of sport for a healthy population.

So much so that they passed a resolution in 2006 urging “HM Government to recognise that the participation in sport is an essential factor in the creation of a healthy population; ensure the re-establishment of competitive sport in the curricula of all schools and take such steps as are necessary to reverse the decline in the availability of sporting facilities for all citizens.”

This blog was written in conjunction with the launch of a strategy for Community Sport in Wales.  If you’d like your say, get involved in the debate on twitter – using the hashtag #communitysport and you can mention us @sport_wales