Get Active Day 2013 poster

Get Active Day 2013 poster
Get Active Day 2013
Tomorrow is the Active Wandsworth Day in King George’s Park, SW18, part of the wider Active Wandsworth Festival that includes open days next weekend.

I can’t quite put my finger on why I’m so excited about them and why I’m promoting them here (especially since I was very remiss not to promote the Supply Chain and Open Day events in Nine Elms, taking place over the latter part of this week). In part it might be because I’ve become a particularly demented runner in the past few weeks, and am in a position where my lack of self-control hasn’t met my physical limits when it comes to distance.

More seriously it’s driven by the increasing general interest in health, and children’s health in particular, that comes from being a father. Wandsworth might not appear to have a problem at first sight. The amount of sport taking place in our parks and commons is huge and our recent success in winning the London Youth Games might suggest we have an active and healthy younger population.

Unfortunately that activity is not repeated across the board. In 2011 61.7% of our year six pupils were assessed as having a healthy weight1. In England that figure was 65.4%. Nearly 40% of our year six pupils had an unhealthy weight, most either overweight or obese (only 1.6% were underweight).

I don’t know the absolute figures used, but based on the Wandsworth secondary school applications for that year (which don’t include private or out of borough) it would mean that year group had about 575 overweight or obese children, 70 more than if we were at the national average.

To make the situation worse, when mapped there is a clear correlation between deprivation and obesity.

While I’m always resistant to interventionist solutions (ultimately it is a matter of personal and parental responsibility) there are clearly issues, like education and access to opportunities. Though neither should really be a problem in Wandsworth (if anything we suffer from the tyranny of choice) this and next weekend’s events provide an ideal opportunity to sample lots of what is on offer all year round.

  1. I recognise such assessments may not work well on an individual level, but do with larger sample sizes 

Active Wandsworth are looking for volunteers for Get Active Day on 14 July at King George’s Park in Wandsworth.

Some of the roles they are looking for include (taken from the council’s Active Wandsworth volunteering PDF leaflet):

Festival Helpers – people to help set up and take down some of the equipment, tents, gazebos, generators, tables chairs etc.

Greeters – people stationed at the entry points to the Festival to record how many people are attending throughout the day. This role will be rotated through as many volunteers as possible and the signposter below rather being stationed in one spot for the whole day.

Signposter – There will be around 5000 people attending the Festival and many of them will want to know where things are or directions to a zone etc. We need as many volunteers as possible for this role.

Feedback Collectors – This role can be shared with the two roles above. We would like to know what people think of the Festival while we are there so we need as many volunteers as possible to ask and help those attending to complete a small feedback form so we can make improvements for future Festivals.

Photographer and Video/Filmmakers – we would like to record as many aspects of the Festival as we can either through photographs of by video to use to publicise future event. Again in this role we’d need a few volunteers to cover everything.

Volunteering would not be for the whole day, but one of two ‘shifts’ – from 8am until 1pm or 1pm until 7pm. If you are interested in volunteering contact Chris Austin at Wandsworth Leisure and Sports Services at or telephone 020 8871 8154. For more information about the festival visit