By Aalia Khan

The UK’s first GreenLine Mile launched in Bradford on 4th February. CEO of UK Athletics Chris Jones was present to launch the GreenLine mile alongside Manningham community members and local representatives from the Council and Bradford Athletics Network.

IMG_2506The GreenLine Mile is a new accessible one-mile walking/jogging loop and it aims to address the barriers people said stopped them from taking part in exercise.  The route is the first in the country and will be one of four GreenLines in the district. It will follow part of the well-established Bradford City Runs route from City Park, taking in the developing part of the city that includes the Bradford University campus.

The route has been designed to be easy to follow, instantly recognisable and generally accessible to everyone.

Emma Davenport Area Manager at UK Athletics said “It feels fantastic to be launching the first GreenLine mile in Bradford and I think it’s down to the work of the clubs and the local athletics infrastructure here, and the Bradford athletics networks is one of the best in the country. It’s through their hard work and determination of trying to get athletics up and going within the city, that we are now here launching the green line.

It will encourage more people to start running, particularly the women’s market because we know from the research we’ve done that women like to have a map route so that they know where they are starting and finishing and know that it’s a safe route that they can run round aswel. GreenLine routes have to be a safe and well lit route so there are people around but not too many people that you feel intimated and being watched. I really think it will be a big encouragement for the local people to get out there and get running.”

England Athletics, who are developing a series of GreenLine miles across the country, has invested £30,000 into the project to support the joint work being done by Bradford Athletics Network, Bradford Council and other Active Bradford Partnership organisations.

Cllr Andrew Thornton, Portfolio holder for sport, Bradford Council was pleased for the GreenLine Mile to be launching in Bradford first, “It’s great news for Bradford, here in an urban setting we want to get more people active so having the first GreenLine mile here in Bradford is really good news. It’s a great initiative.

The aim is to make it easier with a marked route and when people see others using it they will feel encouraged to participate and join in with friends and family on a clearly marked route.”

Nigel Harrison Chief Executive at West Yorkshire Sports also added that “It’s the first in the country and I think it is a great concept where people can just follow the route and know that they are doing a mile in a safe manner so it’s great.”

Children, parents, staff and the governor of Midland Road Nursery and Children’s centre were also present at the launch. The children were excited to see the markers on the floor and carried out a walk from one marker to the other.

Sheila Rye Governor at Midland Road nursery and children centre said “I think it’s great, we’ve been wanting to get some money for ages to try and improve the area around midland road nursery and children’s centre and make it a bit more child friendly and walking friendly, because it’s all cars so this is a start and we hope we can do more.”

Roy, a parent whose child attends the nursery said “I think it’s a great idea because not many people do much walking or running so it’ll be great for people to go out and have a walk and also with the maps it will be great for them to learn map reading skills.”

Michael Hunt facilities manager at UK Athletics explained that “If you keep following them you’ll come back to where you started and they are on a safe, well lit route as well as taking in some of the key sites such as the Alhambra.”