Sport For Confidence CIC is spearheading an Allied Health Professionals (AHP) Ambassador Group to share information and practical learnings regarding the integration of physical activity in professional practice.
The group has been formed as part of Sport For Confidence’s wider ambition to tackle inequalities in physical activity and sports participation amongst marginalised groups.
Liz Fletcher, Occupational Therapist and Education Development Lead at Sport for Confidence, says: “There is an undisputable link between physical activity and health yet many who could benefit most face barriers to participation. Through this group, we aim to bridge the gap. AHPs collectively make up the third largest workforce in the NHS and are instrumental in promoting the health of people, communities and populations. Embedding physical activity in professional practice has the potential to deliver huge health benefits to a segment of the population too often excluded.”
The AHP Ambassador Group, officially launching in December, will meet virtually or in-person on a bi-monthly basis. Liz adds: “We have received incredible interest from the AHP community, with 14 professionals already signed up. Representation already included occupational therapy physiotherapy and speech therapy. Over the course of the next 12 months we intend to welcome many more AHPs across a wide range of disciplines to build a professional group representative of the national AHP group.”
The long term ambition of the Group is to evidence the valuable contribution physical activity can make to the health of the nation, focusing on the inclusion of population groups who traditionally struggle to participate in physical activity. Liz says: “Sport For Confidence has developed a model integrating physical activity into Occupational Therapy practice that, pre-Covid-19 was delivering more than 2,500 in-person interventions every month via mainstream leisure centres across the county. We will be sharing our expertise and learnings with the group, supporting others in a bid to embed physical activity successfully into AHP practice.
“Through this Group, we hope to create a model in Essex, bringing together the physical activity and health sectors, that can be replicated across other areas of the country. The government has already outlined its move towards a ‘prevention is better than cure’ health strategy and this activity aligns perfectly to this.”
Any health professional interested in becoming involved in the AHP Ambassador Group should email Liz@sportforconfidence.com.
To keep up to date with about the Group follow us on social media
Twitter: @OT4PA and @lizdry
Facebook group: OT4PA