Nearly six years on from London 2012, and in the run up to the 70th birthday of the NHS, key figures from Sheffield City Region presented at the House of Commons on the delivery of legacy in sport, community, health and the economy.
The briefing was hosted by Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park – a unique partnership project between the private sector, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Former Sports Minister and Project Lead for Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, the Rt Hon Richard Caborn, and MP for Sheffield South East, Clive Betts, led the briefing.
Richard said: “When we won the right to stage the London 2012 Olympics we asked ourselves, firstly, how we could develop a legacy that would impact the health and wellbeing of the nation, and secondly, how we could use the power of the Olympics and elite athletes to change behaviour and effect an improvement in our lifestyles?
“We made a promise to deliver on legacy through health, sport, the community and the economy, and we’re proud to showcase the tangible results being delivered by Sheffield City Region in the last four years.”
- The National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) Sheffield is one of three network partners that comprise the London 2012 Olympic Legacy programme.
- It is enabling significant improvements in the delivery of NHS care, with the co-location NHS services and delivery of 80,000 appointments a year from hospitals to clinics based in leisure centres – Graves Leisure Centre, Thorncliffe and Concord Sports Centre.
- The NCSEM has seen 20,000 individuals engage in public health behaviour change programmes embedding physical activity in schools, the workplace and communities.
- Building work has begun on Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) which will act as the research hub for the NCSEM. The AWRC is set to become the most advanced research and development centre for health and physical activity in the world, creating ‘innovations to improve health’ with a focus on those that help people move.
The AWRC will be at the heart of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, which replaced the 35-acre site of the former Don Valley Stadium – the training ground for Jessica Ennis-Hill – 2012 Olympic Heptathlon Champion.
Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park so far comprises the Oasis Academy Don Valley school, UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, a Community Stadium which is home to the Sheffield Eagles and will be used by Sheffield United Ladies Football Club, green areas, run routes, and cycle paths. The site brings together elite athletes, professional sports, education, new skills and applied research into health and wellbeing.
The next part of the development of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park provides further potential to deliver facilities that support the Government’s prevention rather than cure agenda and will feature two new world-class research and innovation centres in healthcare – the Centre for Child Health Technology (CCHT) and the Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Research and Innovation Centre (ORRIC) and private sector investment opportunities in excess of £150m
Speakers at the event included David Coles, Health Innovation Lead, Europe at IBM Watson, and Hakim Yadi, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Health Science Alliance Ltd.
Mr Caborn continued: “The briefing showcases the remarkable steps already taken, and the exciting results already being achieved by this completely unique British project in the Sheffield City Region which is attracting interest from all over the world.
“This is an opportunity to present our plans for the next phase of the project which goes even further to support the Government agenda of prevention rather than cure.
“Through all of these initiatives we are working together – private companies, education partners, universities and the public sector – to ensure we are putting physical activity at the heart of the NHS, reflected in the figures already coming out of the NCSEM.”
Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “With an ageing UK population, and a greater focus on preventative medicine, the healthcare and medical technology sectors are emerging as strong growth areas in the region.”