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Leicester’s first Walking Sport Festival is announced

The city’s first Walking Sports Festival has been launched by a Leicester team committed to health and wellbeing as part of National Walking Month.

The free event, taking place on Friday, May 17 at the Morningside Arena from 10.30am to 12pm, will give attendees the chance to take part in, or observe, taster sessions of walking basketball, cricket and football.

The city’s professional sports clubs behind each activity will run the sessions.

The event is ideal for those who may have once been involved in sports and would like to once again engage at a slower, more relaxed pace. Visitors can also speak to coaches and current walking sport participants to find out more and discuss their experiences.

Walking Sports are designed for people of any age who are looking for a different way to build more activity into their life.

The whole event has been developed by the Leicester Changing Diabetes programme, a city-wide campaign to reduce type 2 diabetes rates, with the support of Active Leicester and the Centre for BME Health at the University of Leicester.

Dr Deirdre Harrington, Lecturer in Physical Activity Sedentary Behaviour and Health at the University of Leicester, said:

“Walking sports are a great way for men and women of all ages to socialise, while being active in a friendly and relaxed environment.

“Physical activity improves your health and fitness, builds and maintains healthy bones and muscles, and reduces the risk of becoming overweight and developing type 2 diabetes.

“It’s also known to improve your mood and help with anxiety and depression. We wanted to give older people especially the opportunity to have a go at their favourite sport, but at a slower speed.”

Leicester Changing Diabetes is a partnership programme with Novo Nordisk and the Leicester Diabetes Centre based at Leicester General Hospital. The global initiative Cities Changing Diabetes was created by pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk and was launched in response to the dramatic rise of diabetes within urban areas.  

The Leicester Diabetes Centre – a partnership and collaboration between Leicester’s Hospitals and the University of Leicester – is an international Centre of Excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation and is led by Professor Melanie Davies CBE and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.

Professor Davies, Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre and Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester, said:

“We’re in the middle of a diabetes epidemic and type 2 diabetes numbers are continuing to grow. We firmly believe promoting gentle exercise and group activities among people who have stopped exercising is going to appeal to those who may feel intimidated by attending a gym.

“Through research we’ve carried out, we know that exercise plays a large part in preventing or managing type 2 diabetes. Exercising can also improve your heart health, manage your weight better, boost your muscle and joint functions and positively affect your mind. We aim to show that people can participate in sporting activities at any age.”

For more information about the event please contact Sundeep Rohit by emailing; or call 0116 258 8964.


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