Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital collaborate with The Brownlee Foundation to inspire fitness in young people across North England

With recent research from Nuffield Health unveiling significant barriers to exercise for those living in Yorkshire and the surrounding areas, Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital in collaboration with The Brownlee Foundation aim to inspire young people to prioritise their health and wellbeing through the power of sport, physical activity and positive role models.

The healthcare Charity’s Healthier Nation Index – a survey of 8,000 UK adults – revealed in 2024 that half (50%) of people in Yorkshire state that a lack of motivation is the key barrier to exercise, while 41% of people say it is the cost.

To tackle these barriers, a key focus of the collaboration will be working together to support The Brownlee Foundation to encourage young people to participate in the core elements of a triathlon – swimming, cycling and running. 

From accessing Nuffield Health’s regional fitness and wellbeing centres to sponsoring the training and racing kit for the Yorkshire Triathlon Academy, the aim is to inspire young people across North England to get involved in activity.

The Brownlee Foundation was set up by brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee. Alistair explains, “After the 2012 Olympics, Jonny and I realised the positive impact we could have on inspiring young people to be active. 

We started the Foundation to harness and maximise this impact. To allow as many young people as possible to experience a triathlon, develop their physical fitness and promote healthy habits that can benefit them throughout their lives. It’s a sport we are passionate about and continue to enjoy.”

Nuffield Health Hospital Leeds will support the work the Brownlee Foundation undertakes, which has so far engaged over 53,000 participants.

The focus will include the Brownlee Foundation mini triathlon events for young people across the North of England, the Yorkshire Triathlon Academy (a national talent pathway) and Nuffield Health’s Move Together programme which aims to get 11-16 year old girls from Yorkshire and across the nation moving through specially designed classes that help build strength and confidence.

The free programme is available in communities across the UK all year round and aim to tackle the barriers that young girls face when it comes to exercise and fitness.

Samantha Sheehan, the Health System Director for Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital commented, “We are delighted to work with the Brownlee Foundation who are right on our doorstep. To achieve our goal to build a healthier nation, we know how important it is to work with our local partners. We are proud to be working with Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee and help them to deliver their ambitious set of community projects which will provide opportunities for young people across Yorkshire.”

Alistair Brownlee says, “We’re really grateful for Nuffield Health's support this year in helping us deliver a record number of mini triathlon events across Yorkshire and access to their facilities which will support members of the Yorkshire Triathlon Academy with their training. We are passionate about our projects and look forward to this great relationship.”

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Last updated Wednesday 22 May 2024

First published on Wednesday 22 May 2024