The Salvation Army's YouGov Survey Reveals Striking Attitudes To Sport

published on 2 Jul 2014

• 45 per cent of people in the Midlands do not do regular sport/ exercise at least once a week
• But 81 per cent agreed that regular exercise is important, while the same number felt that vulnerable people would benefit from taking up exercise
Today The Salvation Army is 149 not out… and is using sport to help vulnerable people suffering from addiction problems and homelessness

There is a wealth of sport on the TV this weekend with the Wimbledon Finals, World Cup quarter finals and the British Grand Prix, but for many of us it’s as close as we come to taking any form of exercise.

In a YouGov survey commissioned by The Salvation Army, 80 per cent of respondents in the Midlands said they watch sport on the TV, but 45 per cent admitted that they exercise less than once a week, and 29 per cent said that they don’t do any exercise or sports at all. Nevertheless, a whopping 81 per cent of adults in the midlands who took part in the anonymous poll thought that taking part in sport/exercise is important.

The Salvation Army believes that sport is a powerful tool in helping people recover from addiction problems and homelessness. That’s a sentiment agreed by our respondents 81 per cent in the region saw the benefit of regular sport and exercise for vulnerable people.

The Church and charity has a number of programmes to get people involved in sport, including our Partnership Trophy, a football tournament for homeless men and women, summer camps, weekly football matches, hill walking, badminton, tennis and many more.

Samuel Edgar, Divisional Leader for the West Midlands division, said: “Sport helps people gain in confidence, helps in the treatment of people with addiction problems, helps tackle stress, as well as building community spirit and keeping people healthy. Sport is one way we look to support people with a hand up and not a hand out.“For many of us we don’t do enough exercise, but the government does recommend that we take exercise at least a couple of times a week because of the benefits for physical and mental health.”

Daniel England, 38, took a football team up to Birmingham for The Partnership Trophy from Logos House Lifehouse in Bristol, a centre for homeless people. The team went on to win the tournament after Daniel organised weekly football matches for current and former residents of the Lifehouse. Daniel was homeless and addicted to drugs for several years before he was taken in as a resident at Logos House himself. He’s now been clean for six years, and after leaving Logos House volunteered at the centre, setting up the weekly football matches.

During Partnership Trophy 2013

He later became the centre’s receptionist and now works for Logos House as an early intervention worker. About last year’s Partnership Trophy, he said: “The guys loved meeting Peter Shilton. Some of the guys said to me it was an amazing day which was great. It was a brilliant day. I just want to help the lads to get back on their feet and realise they can live fulfilling lives.”