Faculty Supports the use of Public Parks as a Free Community Asset
The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) UK has responded to Running Free, a UK Government consultation on preserving the free use of public parks.
In its public affairs priorities, the FSEM (UK) calls on all government departments to ‘help make the physically active choice the easy choice’ through national and local policy. Maintaining the free use of public parks, for all community based physical activity groups, within a reasonable size and frequency, is a key part of this.
Key points from the FSEM (UK) response included:
- The FSEM (UK) supports the use of public parks as a free community asset for people to enjoy physical activity, sport and recreation. Community based events such as Parkrun and Parkrun junior should not be charged for the use of public parks.
- Local authorities supporting the availability, to the public, of regular physical activity groups in parks will help more people to meet the CMO physical activity guidelines.
- The availability of free and low cost physical activity, via organised community groups in public parks, is an important resource for GPs and healthcare professionals to sign-post to their patients, an example of this is Generation Games which provides opportunities for older people (aiming at some of the hardest to reach groups) to become and remain physically active.
- The availablility and use of public parks is essential to support more local models, like Generation Games, which are making a real impact on public health.