Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for the best experience on this site, additional security, and speed.

Update browser

Faith centres and their role in keeping communities active

Three teenage girls stretching in an exercise class

October is Black History Month and this year’s theme ‘Time for Change: Actions Not Words’ presented an opportunity for Sport England to highlight some incredible work taking place in a culturally diverse part of the West Midlands.

A YMCA in Wolverhampton hosted the first BMC in the West Midlands in 1953. Known as the Black Country, due to the rich coal seam that sat just below the surface of the ground, the increasingly industrial region attracted a range of communities seeking work opportunities.

Today, the percentage of Black and South Asian people living in the Black Country is higher than the national average.

These are communities who are more likely to report living with impairments or long-term health conditions and more likely to experience discrimination than their white British peers.

As a result, it’s perhaps unsurprising that activity levels have historically been low in the region. However, a thriving network of Black Majority Churches came together with the local Active Partnership, Active Black Country (ABC) to change this through the Get Out, Get Active (GOGA) approach in 2020.