Funding Boost to Help Bedford Women Get Active

Women in Bedford are to benefit from a new scheme aiming to boost their participation in sport and physical activity. Bedford Borough Council and team BEDS&LUTON have successfully secured nearly £10,000 funding to help inspire more women, especially those of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background, into coaching.

The REACH into Bedford project aims to help females aged 16 and above get onto the coaching pathway via a number of roles such as community enablers, activators and leaders within their chosen sport or activity.

The funding is from the Eileen Alexander Legacy Project, which offers financial support to promote opportunities for physical activity for people of all ages in areas local to Bedfordshire.

Figures from the national Active Lives Survey show that 27 per cent of females are currently inactive compared to 24 per cent of males. People from lower socio economic groups are much more likely to be inactive than those from more affluent groups.

Councillor Sarah-Jayne Holland, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Bedford Borough Council, said: “It’s great to receive this funding which will help us ensure that more women, particularly those from a BAME background, are able to improve their health and wellbeing by getting involved in sport and physical activity.

“There are a number of reasons why participation levels are low amongst women and this project is all about working in a variety of community settings to not only make it easier for them to get involved, but also to give them the confidence to lead sessions in their local community.”

team BEDS&LUTON, the county sports partnership, has received national recognition for their work progressing women’s coaching in Luton.

Michelle Morris, Coaching Development Manager at team BEDS&LUTON, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Bedford Borough Council’s Sports Development Unit on the REACH into Bedford project to help engage more females on to the coaching pathway and become more active. The previous project in Luton was very successful and life changing for so many women involved. We are very much looking forward to replicating this work in Bedford.”

If you have an interest in a certain qualification such as netball, badminton, table tennis, cycling or running and would like to be a role model to help get women in your area more active, please email to find out more. You can also complete a short survey at forms/view/womenandcoaching to share your views on the courses you would like to be offered.

Article written by David Dean, Bedford Borough Council Corporate Communications,