Leeds is at the head of the national pack when it comes to people pursuing an active lifestyle.
A new survey has found that 31.2 per cent of residents in the city take part in sport or active recreation three times a week or more.
That figure is the highest for any of England’s so-called ‘core cities’ – a list which includes Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and Liverpool.
Leeds also had the seventh-highest score among England’s 326 local authority areas.
And the city’s result in the survey, conducted by Sport England, represents a rise of more than 10 per cent on its figure from 2005-06.
The strong performance comes at the start of a year that is expected to see even more people in Leeds getting involved in sport on the back of its hosting of the opening stage of the 2014 Tour de France cycle race.
Coun Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills, said: “These fantastic figures show that the enthusiasm the people of Leeds have for grassroots sport and leisure is growing all the time.
“The great facilities available in Leeds today mean that people can indulge their passion for whatever type of activity best suits their age and ability, and the results of this survey are a credit to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved in sport and leisure in our city.”
Council bosses are now aiming to keep the sporting momentum going by continuing to offer Leeds Let’s Get Active sessions. The free, hour-long gym or swimming sessions are available each day at every council-managed leisure centre in Leeds.
Prices for Bodyline gym memberships as well as casual swimming, gym and fitness classes at council venues will also remain unchanged this month. Hundreds of thousands of people are set to turn out to watch the Grand Depart of this year’s Tour de France in Leeds on Saturday, July 5, before the world-famous race moves off into the rest of the White Rose county.