Mighty Roselyn on the Olympic trail

By on 03/06/2011 in News

A woman who lost over eight stone thanks to an award winning Birmingham leisure scheme is in the frame to carry the Olympic Torch ahead of next summer's London Games.

Roselyn Mighty has been nominated to take part in the prestigious Olympic Torch Relay by former England and British Lions rugby star Austin Healey and Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture Cllr Martin Mullaney.

Nechells resident Roselyn scaled down from 23 stone after signing up for Birmingham's pioneering Be Active scheme, which gives residents free access to Council-run leisure facilities for a set number of hours each week.

She has since become an ambassador for the scheme, urging her fellow Birmingham residents to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Now Roselyn's remarkable story could be set to earn her a role in the build-up to next summer's Olympic Games, when the iconic flame visits Birmingham on Saturday June 30 2012.

Cllr Mullaney explained: “I'm nominating Roselyn to carry the torch because I think she absolutely embodies the Olympic spirit and is a real inspiration to us all.

“She represents the thousands of ordinary people who won't be competing for medals in London next year but whose lives can be massively improved by regular exercise and a healthier lifestyle.

“Be Active gave Roselyn the opportunity to transform her life and she grabbed that opportunity with both hands. I'd love to see her participating in the Olympic Torch Relay.”

Former rugby star Healey, a Be Active supporter since its launch in 2009, added: “I first met Roselyn a couple of years ago and her transformation has been nothing short of remarkable. I can't think of a better candidate to carry the Olympic Torch.

“Her story shows that if you invest up front in health and wellbeing, you will see long term benefits and they won't just be financial.  People will live a better life, they will be healthier and that can't really be quantified purely in terms of money.”

The Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK from Greece on Friday 18 May 2012 and the 70 day Torch Relay will start at Land's End, Cornwall on the morning of the 19 May 2012.  On leaving Land's End, the Olympic Flame is expected to travel an estimated 8,000 miles across the UK, giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to their doorstep.

To make a nomination, go to the Locog ‘Moment to Shine’ nomination portal at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay and nominators will need to submit up to 150 words on why their nominee should carry the flame before the window closes on June 29.

ENDS

Be active is a free scheme available to all Birmingham residents who pay their council tax to Birmingham City Council. Be active participants can take part in free swimming, exercise classes or the gym at any Council-run leisure centre during off-peak hours, which may vary according to each centre. Please contact your local leisure centre for more information.

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

Notes to editors

Be active aims:

  • Increase the number of people who regularly take part in active recreation and sport – Move from 17% to 20% of the adult population (an additional 23,000 people) being active at least three times a week
  • Improve the mental and physical health of those who take part in physical activity;
  • Promote healthy eating and enable more people to maintain a normal body weight;
  • Reduce early death and disability from chronic diseases by promoting physical activity and improving cardiovascular fitness among those who experience the most inequality in health;
  • Provide opportunities for employment, volunteering and youth inclusion;
  • Demonstrate effective partnership working to achieve better outcomes.

Be active achievements:

  • Over 300,000 people now on the scheme i.e. 1 in 3 Birmingham residents
  • Attendance at gym, fitness classes and swimming is up by 10% on the last year
  • Hardest to reach groups participating in large numbers including Bangladeshi and Pakistani women.
  • Lifestyle advice now being offered in leisure centres
  • A range of classes and additional activities now on offer to suit local needs
  • 38 FTE posts now created through its lifetime, primarily within leisure
  • 22 new full time leisure posts created from the increased demand
  • Over £500,000 of gym refurbishments including the city's first women's only gym

Achieved the following awards:

  • LGC Health & Wellbeing award 2009
  • AHC Social marketing award 2009
  • AHC overall award for best social  marketing 2009
  • Guardian health inequalities award 2009
  • Guardian overall winner award 2009
  • Health Service Journal Best Social Marketing award 2009
  • Health Service Journal secretary of state award for excellence in healthcare management 2009
  • LGC reputation award; social  marketing 2010
  • World Leisure Innovation Award

Equal split between men / women

Average of 1,200 new sign ups per week

When asked what the biggest barrier to exercise was, 40% of respondents said cost
Video case study: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4lwOkTG1ws

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