Coventry Charity, the Positive Youth Foundation officially launched the Go Foleshill Community Mile at Edgwick Park on Saturday 14th May.
The 1-mile route, around the park, attracted over 200 participants who gathered as a community to walk, jog and run, a much-needed community initiative which is set to become a weekly fixture in Foleshill which will be held every Saturday at 11 am.
Foleshill is a vibrant community; but is often characterized by its stubborn health inequalities, particularly for childhood obesity. Thanks to a new Sport England funded programme called Go Foleshill, delivered by PYF and Coventry City Council, a range of exciting programmes have been implemented to help the Foleshill community get more active.
Local primary schools also turned up to show their support, with a contingent from Broad Heath Primary being championed by the Physical Education Lead, Mark Rawlings, who said, “It’s vital that young people in the Foleshill area have a place to be active. We know that children need 60 active minutes a day including weekends, and without green spaces like Edgwick Park this becomes impossible to do safely and without great expense”
Nikki Miles, Project Lead for Go Foleshill said, “This is a fantastic new opportunity for people of all abilities and ages to attend their local green space. It’s simply a great excuse to start the weekend with fresh air, some light exercise and meet local friendly faces”.
This project aims to engage and help provide support to the families in Foleshill who are most vulnerable to health inequalities. Local parent Yasir Usman said, “I would like to extend my gratitude for keeping children and adults healthy physically and mentally. Thank you for arranging this kind of activity which play a very important role in our well-being”
Following a brief warm-up, and a countdown to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was attended by Rashid Bhayat, CEO of Positive Youth Foundation, they were off!
Rashid said, “We have a long history of working in this area. Whilst much has changed, many of the challenges remain, so we are delighted to be able to work with local partners to mobilise the park for positive activities for the whole community”
Local youth and community group Rising Stars were out in their numbers to support and steward the walk. Ayaz Maqsood, Chair of Rising Stars said, “It was great to see so many people from the local community come together and enjoy the park. It very much reminded me of my childhood, when Edgwick Park was the life of the community, where everyone was welcomed to join whatever activities were taking place. I am sure the Community Mile will become firmly established and bring people together”
Local “Marathon Man” Haroon Mota, also project lead for Go Foleshill, said, “I’ve been a resident of Foleshill my entire life and it’s clear that there is a distinct lack of opportunity here, especially when it comes to physical activity and engagement in green spaces. It makes me proud to be championing programmes through Go Foleshill which are not only bringing people together to inspire community but significantly offering people accessible ways to take care of their wellbeing. We can’t cure health inequalities in an instant but by better understanding the needs of people and the barriers that hinder people from getting outside, we can find ways to improve family health, and that’s exactly what our work at Go Foleshill is about”
Cllr Kamran Caan, Cabinet Member, Public Health and Sport, said: “This is a fantastic initiative for the Foleshill community, and I am so pleased to see that it was a hit with residents.
“I’m really looking forward to attending the Community Mile soon and I applaud the work that the Go Foleshill team are doing.
“The health and wellbeing of Coventry’s residents is extremely important and it’s great that this event is open to residents of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.”