PEOPLE in Sheffield are to benefit from £10 million of Olympic funding to help create a sports medicine centre to promote exercise and fitness.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced the funding for Sheffield to develop a National Sports and Exercise Medicine Centre of Excellence.
The centre, to be created and run by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, will help get people active and treat injuries caused by exercise or conditions caused by lack of exercise.
It will focus on getting injured people back to work and help people use physical activity to cope with conditions such as diabetes.
The Government, providing the money as part of its Olympic legacy commitments, wants the Sheffield centre to be part of a three-centre £30m national project, with one hub in London and the third in Loughborough, Nottingham and Leicester.
A steering group of health managers, university chiefs, council bosses and sports experts will decide how the money is spent.
Group member Steve Brailey, chief executive of Sheffield International Venues, said the project is in its early stages, but some funding is expected to go towards a capital project .
Sir Andrew Cash, chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “It is fantastic news that Sheffield will be one of three hubs forming the National Sports and Exercise Medicine Centre of Excellence. The focus of the Sheffield arm is centred on the promotion of physical activity and improvement of the health and productivity of the people of Sheffield.
“Sheffield has world-class sport and medical facilities complemented by world-class research and educational programmes in the city’s two universities.”
Prof Jonathan Nicholl, Dean of Sheffield University’s School of Health and Related Research, said: “We are looking forward to the opportunity for researching evaluation into the role of physical activity in improving the health of the people of Sheffield.”
A Sheffield Hallam spokesman said: “Sheffield Hallam has a great reputation for research and teaching in sport and exercise science, so we look forward to playing a key role with our partners in actively engaging people in sport and health activities.”
Mr Lansley said: “Hosting the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Britain and it provides a great opportunity for the NHS too. This will not only help get more people active but it will keep them active too.”