Suffolk Libraries is doing its bit to make Suffolk the most active county, with six libraries now offering a range of sports equipment for customers to borrow.
The Move It pilot project will offer people the chance to borrow sports and outdoor game equipment from Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Stowmarket, Saxmundham, Gainsborough and Newmarket libraries. The equipment on offer varies but includes dumbbells, play parachutes, swingball, badminton, bowling, football, cricket, basketball, tennis, yoga and rounders equipment.
The equipment can be borrowed by library customers aged over 16. It can be borrowed for up to three weeks and, like other library loans, will incur overdue charges to encourage borrowers to bring it back so others can use it.
The Move It equipment has been provided by Suffolk Libraries' New Chapters Mental Health and Wellbeing service to encourage library customers to be more active and try something new.
Sarah Lungley, mental health and wellbeing coordinator, said: “Suffolk Libraries are proud to support the Most Active County initiative to help get people moving more and to improve their wellbeing. Our libraries are places people come for a huge range of services and information so we hope that some of our customers will take some of this equipment home and enjoy some new activities with their friends and family.”
Councillor James Reeder, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, said: “I’m pleased to see the library taking the initiative to provide a sports equipment loan scheme. Libraries are at the heart of local communities so they are ideally placed to support local people.
"I hope this project will encourage more people and families to be active together as well as help to reduce the financial barriers to playing sport and, in doing so, contribute to our ambition of becoming the most active county in England.”