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Network to enhance physical activity provision across the region

A network which will focus on sharing the latest research, policy and practice in physical activity provision in the region is set to be launched at Leeds Beckett University.

A running shoe being tied

The Yorkshire and Humber Physical Activity Knowledge Exchange (YoHPAKE), a regional network designed to bridge the gap between research and practice in physical activity and sport, will be launched at a one-day conference at Leeds Beckett’s Headingley Campus on 25 January.

The conference will celebrate current work within the region as well as helping to establish partnerships to enhance future provision.

Andy Daly Smith, YoHPAKE lead and Senior Lecturer in Physical Activity and Health in the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett, explained: “Over the last nine months a group of like-minded physical activity stakeholders have been developing a knowledge exchange in the Yorkshire and Humber region. To date, YoHPAKE has over 190 members, 150 of whom will be attending the conference.

“Our vision for YoHPAKE is to help ensure our region is a place where physical activity and sport practice is driven by research and research is driven by practice.  We are looking to facilitate strong collaboration across professional and organisational boundaries. In that process members will be able to deliver research-informed practice through effective collaboration between academics and practitioners. When the mantra of public service is ‘do more with less’ this innovation is both is timely and welcome.

Members of YoHPAKE already include researchers from a number of the region’s universities as well as representatives from Public Health England, Local Authorities, County Sports Partnerships, leisure trusts, Sport England, UK Active, The Youth Sport Trust, the wider education sector, Clinical Commissioning Groups and GP Clinical Champions. Postgraduate students in Physical Activity & Health at Leeds Beckett are also members of YoKPAKE and are assisting in the delivery of the conference.

The team have already established a virtual platform for the sharing of research and knowledge around physical activity, a membership platform to keep an up-to-date and accurate record of members, a virtual “ask YoHPAKE” platform where members can submit requests for support from other members, as well as a schedule of relevant physical activity events.

Dr Justin Varney, National Lead for Adult Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, will be the keynote speaker at the conference, delivering a session entitled: ‘Moving the nation: National evidence of action through local partnerships’.

Other contributors to the event include Frances Cunning, Deputy Director Health & Wellbeing PHE Yorkshire & Humber Centre, Paul Butcher, Director of Public Health, Calderdale Council, Anna Lowe, Physical Activity Clinical Champion- Allied Health Professionals, PHE and Nigel Harrison, Chief Executive Officer & Yorkshire Sport Foundation.

Afternoon workshops will address Type 1 diabetes, active schools, community physical activity interventions, integrating physical activity into chronic disease pathways, physical activity in the early years and smart approaches to behaviour change.

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