What does an active environment look like to you? Immediately pictures of leisure centres spring to mind, or community sports pitches like grassroots football grounds. And while these locations all form part of an active environment, Sport England is considering how other pockets of open and built-up space can be transformed to encourage more people to move more and make sustainable, healthy lifestyle choices. This includes the way design and architecture are applied to urban environments, and how community or public areas can be better developed to enable more activity to take place. Are MUGAs and basketball courts only destined for local authority run parks for example? Could publicly-run athletics tracks play home to more community events and facilities? And when areas are being regenerated and developed, could sports and activity play a central role in the layout?
Infrastructure for an active environment
The idea of an active environment of course embraces the role community leaders, volunteers, enthusiasts and coaches play in bringing people and facilities together. But having the right infrastructure in place is a big part of increasing accessibility. As part of the Broxap group of companies, our customers benefit from a wealth of knowledge about how to improve outdoor sports facilities and pitches – not just with our equipment but also outdoor infrastructure. Each division is designed to complement each other, with all our staff receiving training across departments so we can offer single source supplier support. This has helped us to form partnerships with a wide range of valued customers representing sports and activities nationwide.
Dedicated sport and physical activity facilities
According to Sport England “there is no such thing as a neutral space”. It says the spaces around us have a positive or negative impact on whether, how, when and where we move. It has split the environment into three categories, with dedicated sport and fitness facilities among the locations where previously the public body focused its efforts. Under its current strategy Sport England says these spaces can be more inclusive and environmentally friendly, offering better affordable experiences for local people. Here at Stadia Sports we have long-established connections with the guardians of places such as tennis courts, football pitches and playing fields. Our football goal posts for example are manufactured in a variety of materials and sizes to accommodate all age ranges as well as all environments – goals for a unmanned pitch will need to have anti-vandal properties for example, while goals used on a multi-use pitch benefit from rollaway functionality for speedier set up and pack up. But our support and expertise doesn’t stop at football goal posts. With the focus of Sport England being inclusivity and sustainability, our cycle parking infrastructure from Broxap is essential for many sports facilities. Providing safe and secure cycle parking opens up new ways for people to access these venues, offering a sustainable, affordable transport solution which also increases activity levels.
Beyond the facilities built for the purpose of sport and activity, Sport England will be working in other community environments. This includes parks and open spaces, village halls, community centres and schools. Although not specific to sports, they lend themselves to training and activity spaces and Sport England feels these locations are more likely to attract those who are new or returning to sport and exercise. From tennis nets to athletics kit, Stadia Sports can supply a wide range of high quality equipment to venues suitable for users at all levels, beginner right through to pro. But it might also be that our outdoor gym equipment from Sunshine Gym is the perfect way to complement a community venue. Our equipment is free to access once installed, removing cost barriers, and it’s easy to operate so perfect for beginners. Sunshine Gym equipment is also designed to encourage socialising, bringing the community together for motivation.
The built environment
Health and wellbeing is currently a key issues for the likes of developers and housebuilders. Creating healthier places and promoting wellness is among the standards councils are likely to start looking for as part of the planning process. Sport England agrees that good design can help to increase activity levels by encouraging walking and cycling. It wants people to have a say in how they want their neighbourhood to look and feel so their families can live a long and healthy life there. Of course, here at Stadia Sports we specialise in football goals and rugby goal posts, manufacturing this equipment at our factory in North Staffordshire. But did you know we also manufacture timber play and sports equipment such as Trim Trails which are perfect for residential areas. Our Hand Made Places division has already been involved in designing, manufacturing and installing a number of active play developments as part of residential schemes across the country. As well as standard and bespoke equipment, we are also installing seating, shelters and litter and recycling bins as part of these projects to boost the sustainability credentials and make these spaces as inviting and welcoming as possible.
There’s many ways Stadia Sports can support an active environment. Contact our teams today and discuss your plans.