A weekly newspaper is fighting for the fitness of its patch with a new campaign aimed at increasing sporting participation.
The Rotherham Advertiser’s ‘Fighting Fit’ appeal aims to increase exercise levels by getting increased funding for sporting facilities for its readers.
The Advertiser also hopes to see more people taking part in sport and exercise, and save the “life-changing” Rotherham Institute for Obesity from threatened closure.
The campaign was launched on yesterday’s front page, pictured below, off the back of what the newspapers describes as the “hollow” Olympic legacy.
An editorial announcing the campaign’s launch reads: “It’s fine to pump money into creating the gold medallists of the future, but what about the rest of us?
“As the Government slashes council budgets, forcing cuts across all sectors, we need to battle to ensure Rotherham gets its fair share of the money needed to provide the facilities that can help people in the town increase their exercise levels, improve their diets and gain knowledge of what makes for a healthy lifestyle.
That battle includes a fight to save the ground-breaking Rotherham “Institute for Obesity (RIO), which saves lives across the town but faces closure if funding is cut.”
According to recent statistics, 21.6pc of Year Six pupils and 28.5pc of adults were obese in Rotherham in 2014/15, with just 27.2pc of people aged 16 and over taking part in sport at least once a week.
The editorial continues: “It would be far too easy for us to sit behind our keyboards and ask for better facilities, but we are not going to do that. We aren’t going to simply criticise the council and others for closing down sports and health facilities.
“We are going to ask those with influence to press the powers that be for money to provide such as sports centres, football pitches, coaches for athletics clubs and bowling greens at grassroots level, and to make sure that what we still have is not allowed to close.
“We are going to fight for funding to ensure that the trail-blazing and life-changing RIO is not allowed to fold, we are going to publicise events taking place across the borough and take part in them ourselves.
“We can’t all be world beaters, but we should at least have the opportunity to try out the same sports as those who are.”