by Catriona McAllister, CEO, Jersey Sport
Since the launch of the Inspiring Active Places strategy in March 2021, I am delighted that the Government of Jersey now have four projects live across three sites: Oakfield, Springfield and Les Quennevais. These projects form part of a wider strategy to create more high quality, accessible, active places for islanders through the redevelopment and replacement of existing sports facilities with a network of public sport and wellbeing hubs.
These current projects include the refurbishment of Springfield Stadium in St Helier to create a new gym and studio facilities, plus substantial improvements for spectators, and the new outdoor skate park at Les Quennevais which recognises the fast-growing popularity of urban sports. The redevelopment of Oakfield will create a new 3G pitch, sports hall, martial art studios and gymnastics centre. This redevelopment of Springfield and Oakfield will finally provide the solution for the accommodation of sports, fitness and gymnastics once Fort Regent is closed.
The Inspiring Active Places Project Team is currently undertaking stakeholder consultation on the development of a new sport and wellbeing centre at Le Rocquier, which will provide much needed access to facilities in the east of the island. Jersey Sport is proud to be playing a lead role, acting as programme director on behalf of the Government of Jersey, to ensure the needs of sport are central to the development of these new facilities. At its core is a deep understanding of the requirements of sport at all levels and our role is to support the Government with the delivery of these exciting new facilities.
The Government of Jersey has committed over £10 million to the projects which are now ‘live’ and under construction. These projects are the first phase in the delivery of inspirational facilities which support the health, wellbeing and sporting ambition of future generations, and is a time of celebration and excitement.
Public support for investment in sports, health and wellbeing, particularly in a post-pandemic climate, was evident in the Inspiring Active Places public consultation survey which showed that 88% of islanders were in favour of investment in the development of new public sport and wellbeing hubs over the next 10 years. In addition, 94% agreed that these new facilities are, ‘important resources in enabling islanders to be fit, active and healthy’.
It is of great importance that we work together, aligned with the vision of the Inspiring Active Places strategy, to create well designed spaces that encourage people to be more active, try new sports and activities and feel supported in their fitness and wellbeing efforts. Substantial investment in infrastructure is a vital part of our island’s long-term health and wellbeing provisions, as reflected in the Inspiring an Active Jersey strategy that aims to increase physical activity across all age groups by 10% by 2030.
Over the coming weeks, planning and design teams will be meeting to discuss the provision of new and exceptional facilities that will inspire islanders to lead more active lives. I am delighted to be able to play a core role in this huge undertaking for Jersey and am looking forward to seeing the plans unfold.
This article was originally published in the Jersey Evening Post on 19 February 2022.