Sheffield exercise instructor wins community award

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A Sheffield-based exercise referral instructor has won an award in recognition of his outstanding levels of dedication to improving the lives of others.

Richard Archer, 45, who helps to run the award-winning Exercise Referral Scheme at Concord Sports Centre, was presented with The David Blunkett Community Safety Award as part of the 2016 Sanctuary Housing Awards.

The Exercise Referral Scheme uses physical activity to help people manage conditions including coronary heart disease, muscular skeletal diseases and respiratory illnesses.

It was launched by SIV at Concord in 2005 and over the last decade has expanded across five other SIV venues in Sheffield and operates in two city GP surgeries.

Richard, who lives in Penistone, Barnsley, said: “I’m simply over the moon to receive this award. Being at the awards night with Lord Blunkett and The Lord Mayor of Sheffield has simply made the start of 2016 fantastic. I love the work that I do, and I would particularly like to thank all that nominated me.”

Patients with conditions such as obesity, depression, heart disease and osteoporosis are referred by their GP for 12-weeks of low-impact physical activity.

At the end of the programme, Richard is influential in encouraging scores of patients to continue with exercise by joining SIV’s popular walking football sessions, which he runs at Concord.

The game follows the same rules as 5-a-side football, with the exception that players are only allowed to walk. It was designed to encourage people of all ages and fitness levels to lead an active lifestyle, as well as to get those who had to stop playing football due to injuries, back into the game.

Dave Birds, SIV’s Exercise Referral Manager said: “Being a previous Sanctuary Award winner myself, I can appreciate the level of dedication and commitment to the community that people have to receive such a great accolade.

“Richard works very hard for the scheme, making it his ambition to find what people like to do in order to become physically active, which can help the day to day burden and symptoms related to suffering with long term illness.”

Thousands of people have benefitted from the Exercise Referral Scheme and with the help of determined, caring people like Richard, more and more can overcome health issues and begin to live healthier, happier lives.

SIV is part of the not-for-profit Sheffield City Trust (SCT) whose primary objective is to improve the health and wellbeing of Sheffield people by providing facilities for sport and leisure activities.

For more information about walking football or the SIV Exercise Referral Scheme please contact 0114 2574426 or {http://visit www.sivltd.com|Click here|Click here}