Derbyshire workers compete in fitness challenge

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People from across Derbyshire have stepped up to the Workplace Challenge in early 2015 by teaming up with their colleagues to get fitter and more active.

From those who have done just a little to others who are training for marathons, triathlons and bike rides, the response to the second staging of the annual event in the county – which runs across England – has again been excellent.

The programme has been designed to push physical activity in workplaces and offices over an eight-week period, this year between January 5 and March 1, with more than 70 participants taking part after stating they were previously inactive.

It has been managed by County Sports Partnership (CSP) Derbyshire Sport, who oversaw the fifth highest number of sign-ups (1,645) among counties on the national Workplace Challenge website.

The project was something on which its team led by example, being the second most active CSP staff team in the country.

The stand-out statistic was from the University of Derby, who have embraced Workplace Challenge in a big way, logging 1.8 million activity points – the most by any single organisation nationwide.

“We’re delighted the efforts put in by so many of our staff, who have clearly enjoyed getting active, has been reflected in this national recognition,” said Rob Woods, Senior Health and Safety Advisor at the University of Derby.

Derbyshire’s Workplace Challenge winner, measured by average points number of points accrued per person, was Sopra Steria of Hipper House, Chesterfield.

An 11-strong team clocked up 381,494 points at an average of 34,681, a total good enough to put them sixth on the national leaderboard.

Second and third were Chesterfield Borough Council departments at Venture House (90,716, average 30,239) and at the Sport and Leisure Office (126,118, average 25,224), while fourth was Trident Foams Limited (66,753, average 22,251).

“We’ve tried to offer activities that fit into people’s days – like morning and lunchtime sessions,” said Cathy Hinde, Workplace Champion and Marketing and Communications Officer for the Sport and Leisure team at Chesterfield Borough Council.

“They were free for the first two weeks and then charged at only £1 per session – and we regularly email staff about what’s on offer,”

The top three individuals were Neil Hunt (Ladycross Infant School) with 86,992 activity points, JAW (University of Derby) 77,533 and Barry Tomlinson (Chesterfield Borough Council, Environment Services) 71,510.

Derbyshire Sport Director Hayley Lever said: “It’s great to see that so many Derbyshire people have got the fitness bug through the Workplace Challenge, not just as individuals, but contributing along with their colleagues as part of a team.”

Individuals can continue to log their Workplace Challenge activity and track their progress throughout the year, while new workplaces and individuals can still sign up.

The next national challenge will take place in September and local challenges will run throughout 2015.

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