New website for Active Cornwall as director hangs up his boots! February Active Cornwall bulletin

Firstly let me say I never wanted to do this job anyway! I always wanted to be a professional footballer as no doubt you can guess from the headline. To this day I keep a pair of boots and shin pads at the ready just in case the call comes in. In reality I think this moment may have passed?! But we have to have dreams and I don’t think they stop just because we are ‘retired’ so I will continue to keep the boots and shin pads at the ready just in case!

Departing thoughts? Nothing ground breaking to say except that daily habits whether they be about keeping active or anything else for that matter, do seem to create strong foundations for just about everything. For me the pure joy of activity, of getting my heart rate up and dare I say it sweating just a little bit, has never lost its appeal. I could not be more grateful for what exercise has and continues to give me. Of course on some days you have to force yourself – like today with the rain beating on the windows – but you never ever regret getting active.

The calendar says that it has been more than forty years since I started work. What has probably changed the most over those years is how we communicate. In the early days if I wanted to communicate with you I could phone you or write you a letter. The letter would be written long hand and submitted to the typing pool, to be returned if you were lucky about three days later. Hopefully without error, yours or theirs, otherwise the process would have to be repeated. Now of course we can dash off an e-mail, message or tweet in the blink of an eye. Well some of us can anyway. Or we can post it on a website, in fact on our brand new Active Cornwall website which we are launching this week and is now live at  www.activecornwall.org  Do take a look and let us know what you think.

We are excited about launching the new website as part of continuing to develop how we communicate with you and involve you in the development of physical activity, sport and movement across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We are using local images as far as possible, to give the website a real sense of place. We want to communicate with you and work with you as partners in making physical activity a reality for more and more people, especially for those who need help the most. We also want to communicate directly with the population of Cornwall to inspire them about, how wonderful physical activity is and the opportunities available to help develop an activity habit for life.

In fact the new website and my departure just signal the beginning of more changes to come as we are on the verge of agreeing a new five year funding agreement with Sport England. The Sport England strategy Home | Uniting the Movement | Sport England will require all Active Partnerships including Active Cornwall to develop more systemic and inclusive ways of working. This will need everyone to work together as never before, if we are to solve the problem of inactivity, as no one organisation can solve the problem alone. We say this a lot, that ‘no one organisation can do it alone’ and recently I came across the best example I have heard of why this is the case.

It is the tale of the six blind men and the elephant, an original Indian folk tale. Each of the blind men on coming across an elephant touched a different part of the elephant and drew different conclusions as to its size and shape. And so these men having touched the elephant were certain in their own opinions of what it was like. They were all partly right of course and at the same time, all were wrong. Now if they had worked together and communicated with each other, they would have got a much better understanding of what the elephant was actually like. Think about the complicated world that we work in and hopefully the ‘why’ we need to work together becomes clearer than ever. We can only individually ever understand from our own perspective, so we need each other like never before!

I am confident that Active Cornwall is in good hands and there are interesting times ahead in the quest to reduce levels of inactivity.

Many thanks to everyone I have worked with and I wish you all the very best for the future.

Remember …. As  George Bernard Shaw  said “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” –

Best wishes,

Mike Thomas

Director

Active Cornwall

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