Last week Team Police and Police Sport UK ran their first hugely successful webinar with over 50 attendees logging in on the night. The majority attending were members of the police service but we also had current and potential sponsors/supporters as well as representatives from police support charities. We will be running a series of these events through to next summer, when maybe, just maybe we might be coming out of this awful period and can start to meet like human beings again, see some police sport and actually meet each other.
Sport is important, it is good for our health and mindfulness, and for our wellbeing. On the webinar we had a panel of Chief Constables; Matt Jukes CC South Wales & Chair PSUK, Andy Cooke CC Merseyside and Bill Skelly CC Lincs, the latter are both vice chairs of PSUK. One of the key messages that came from the webinar was that whilst we are emphasising sport for all, it is also about getting everyone more active and encouraging them to do that little bit extra to get the heart going and feel better. Yes we think its important to fund traditional sport but wider support is also essential so that everyone in the policing family feels encouraged to work on their own physical and mental fitness journey.
Matt Jukes summarised the approach in four R’s:
Increasing Resilience of staff through physical activity
Improving Rehabilitation through physical activity
Fitness mentors acting as Role models within the service
Reconnecting the workforce with the benefits of physical activity.
He believes, like everyone in TeamPolice, that there’s a real future at the heart of the wellbeing strategy for policing for physical activity and sport, and that over the next few years there is a recognition that physical fitness sits alongside that of mental health and wellbeing.
Bill Skelly in his opening remarks set the tone for the night when he stated, “I think there is a sea-change all around us in peoples’ appreciation of what it means to be healthy and what it means to encourage health within your workplace”.
The Q and A session proved popular with wide ranging questions such as ‘how serving officers’ work, life, sport balance will be supported within the service’; ‘access to gyms for veterans’ and ‘how the police service plans to work with businesses to support the health and wellbeing agenda’! Why not listen to the recording below to find out what the audience wanted to know on the night:
The webinar also featured Surfwell, which has been set up by two officers from Devon and Cornwall Police, James Mallows and Sam Davies who recently launched a surfing initiative to help support colleagues suffering from work related stress. The evidence internationally supports this endeavour and their commitment to making this happen was inspirational:
Now of course there are parts of the country where surfing maybe a challenge as a sport, but we are always looking for inspirational sporting initiatives that are getting out there to help the men and women who serve in our police forces. Get in touch with TeamPolice to let us know what you are doing to help wellbeing through sport!
One of those attending the webinar was Andy Rhodes, Chief Constable Lancashire and the national wellbeing lead for Oscar Kilo which gives access to evidence based research and resources that can be used to help shape wellbeing provision and encourage collaboration and innovation across not just policing, but all emergency services. Team Police understands and fully supports Oscar Kilo and will be looking to work even closer with them in the future on our mission to encourage wellbeing through sport.
TeamPolice has many loyal sponsors but we are very grateful to XPS ,PCU and Fujitsu for supporting our first online event. They all spoke on the night and highlighted the value of working in partnership with TeamPolice to bring much needed funds to support initiatives like Surfwell and of course the many sports up and down the country.