Olympic sprinter and London 2012 Ambassador Christine Ohuruogu today launched a local NHS ‘Fit for London’ campaign, highlighting the clear benefits to health of physical activity and wider participation in sport.

Unveiling the campaign images at Stratford Bus Station, Christine was joined by Carolyn Regan, Chief Executive of North East London Strategic Health Authority and two students – Atif Zafar (16) and Sophie Howard (13), from Langdon School, Newham’s designated Sports College.

The campaign has been launched in the run-up to the visit to London of an Evaluation Commission from the International Olympic Committee. The Commission is reviewing London’s plans to host the Games in 2012.

The ‘Fit for London’ campaign will run on over 100 buses across North East London.

The campaign depicts people taking part in everyday activities morphing into Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Featuring four Olympic sports – athletics, wheelchair tennis, swimming and cycling, the campaign shows how Londoners can fit physical activity into their daily routine.

Carolyn Regan, Chief Executive for the North East London Strategic Health Authority, said:

“The 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the country to host the greatest sporting event on earth. This campaign aims to harness the inspiration of Olympic achievement to promote the proven benefits of regular exercise to physical and mental health.

“Adopting a healthier lifestyle and getting more exercise doesn’t mean you have to join a gym. Brisk walking when you’re already out and about, or walking up stairs rather than taking the lift, are easy ways to become fitter and healthier.

“The ambitious and long-overdue regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley will ensure a lasting legacy for the people of North East London. After the Games, sporting venues – such as the aquatics centre – will be adapted for local use at reasonable prices. The establishment of a national sports medicine centre will be a focus for excellence, combining teaching, training and research facilities with a world-class service to athletes and the local community alike.”

For further information about the campaign and ideas on how to become fitter and healthier, visit: www.fitforlondon2012.nhs.uk

For further information please contact Jennifer Anderson, North East London Strategic Health Authority, on 020 7655 6673

Or contact the London 2012 Press Office 020 7093 5100


Pictures available – please contact Jennifer Anderson on 020 7655 6673:

· Fit for London launch: Atif Zafar, Christine Ohuruogu, Sophie Howard and Carolyn Regan unveil the ‘Fit for London’ campaign at Stratford Bus Station

· Christine Ohuruogu and pupils: Christine and Langdon School pupils launch ‘Fit for London’ campaign.

·’Fit for London’ bus images (swimming, cycling, running and wheelchair tennis)

Notes to Editors:

· Less than a third of adults regular take part in the recommended 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times a week. 35 per cent of children do not meet the recommended 60 minutes a day of physical activity. Activity in childhood helps healthy growth and development, reducing the risks of obesity-related diseases in later life.

· Lack of physical activity and low fitness are major risk factors for coronary heart disease in both men and women. Regular physical exercise can halve the risk of dying from coronary heart disease.

· As well as inspiring a new generation of sportsmen and women, the Games will leave a lasting health legacy. Long-term benefits will include:

o A programme of regeneration across the area will create new businesses, jobs and volunteering opportunities in the lead up to and during the Games;

o After the Games, the Olympic Village will be converted into community housing, supported by new schools, health and community facilities;

o Sporting and leisure facilities, such as new swimming pools, will be reconfigured from the six Olympic stadia and will be open to local people at reasonable prices;

o The transformation of the Lower Lea Valley will create 1500 acres of parkland, with safer walking and cycling routes.

. Bid Ambassador Christine Ohuruogu represented Great Britain in the 400m and 400m 4×4 relay at the Olympic Games in Athens 2004. As well as competing for her club (Newham and Essex Beagles) and country she is currently studying linguistics and phonetics at University College, London.

· Langdon School, located on Sussex Road in East Ham, Newham, has 1912 students.  For three years in succession, the school has been selected for a DfES School Achievement Award. It also has been awarded Beacon and Sports College status.
· North East London Strategic Health Authority was established in April 2002 as the local headquarters of the NHS. It serves a population of 1.5 million by:
 
o Developing a coherent strategy for the local health service;
o Creating capacity and supporting improvement in performance;
o Translating national policy into local action, involving local people in decision-making;
o Providing leadership through the development of networks and partnerships to deliver improved health and healthcare.
 
· The Strategic Health Authority manages the performance of seven Primary Care Trusts, two mental health trusts and four acute hospital NHS Trusts. Homerton University NHS Trust was awarded Foundation Trust status on 1st April 2004.
· North East London Strategic Health Authority covers the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and the Corporation of London.