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Key sports events in Suffolk help thousands get active and brought £4.5m economy boost

PUBLISHED: 16:35 30 March 2018

The first Simplyhealth Great East Run in Ipswich raised £1million for charity.  Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

The first Simplyhealth Great East Run in Ipswich raised £1million for charity. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

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High profile sporting events in Suffolk last year helped more than 27,000 people in the county into exercise and boosted the economy by more than £4.5million last year, according to a new report.

The first Simplyhealth Great East Run in Ipswich was among several high profile sports events in Suffolk. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTThe first Simplyhealth Great East Run in Ipswich was among several high profile sports events in Suffolk. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Figures prepared for Suffolk County Council revealed that the 2017 Most Active County events programme had shown “impressive impacts”, with the Tour of Britain alone generating around £3.8m for Suffolk.

The economic impact of the Great East Swim is estimated at £737,000 while the Great East Run raised £1m for charity alone.

Sport England data showed that the number of active adults involved in 150 minutes or more exercise per week had increased by 27,100 in the last 12 months while those considered inactive (less than 30 minutes exercise per week) had reduced by 13,000.

With the return of the Great East Swim and Great East Run alongside the Women’s Tour and Women on Wheels, county leaders are hopeful it will be in line for another significant boost.

Competitors head off at the start of the Aviva Women's Tour in Southwold. Picture: SIMON PARKERCompetitors head off at the start of the Aviva Women's Tour in Southwold. Picture: SIMON PARKER

County council health spokesman Tony Goldson, said: “Through the Most Active County events programme, we have been able to offer exciting opportunities for residents and visitors to get involved locally in national and international sporting events.

“This year’s events are once again set to draw huge crowds to Suffolk, with many people staying overnight. We have introduced and are continuing to develop local programmes and initiatives which run alongside these events, encouraging residents who are inactive to adopt a more active lifestyle. We have seen a real increase in the number of active adults across the county over the last year as a result.”

Other key fixtures such as the weekly parkrun events and the Twilight Races have also helped people engage with sport and boost business in the community.

Andrew Wilesmith, sport and leisure services manager at Ipswich Borough Council said that high profile sports events often meant people made a weekend of their visit, using shops, hotels and restaurants in the county.

Regular parkrun events have helped people remain active. Picture: GREGG BROWNRegular parkrun events have helped people remain active. Picture: GREGG BROWN

He added: “For every successful event that is delivered in Ipswich it raises the town’s standing with partners as a premier destination to deliver high impact and exciting events.

“It also brings our elite athletes to the town and provides inspiration for younger people which enables and encourages them to be physically active.

“All in all everyone wins with these events, giving economic, health and wellbeing, inspirational and engagement boosts across the town.”

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