Active Families

Active Families Cycling Project


Active Families is a new project aimed at encouraging and supporting families to cycle more for health and wellbeing benefits. You can enjoy the beautiful outdoors, spend quality time together and feel happy and healthy for it.

Free Cycle Confidence Sessions


These are a great way to:


• Boost your cycle confidence and improve your skills
• Get tips for riding as a family and how to use a trailer


To read more about the Active Families project head over to the Active Devon blog – Happy Cycling With Active Families 

Get involved in the Active Devon Active Families Cycling project and feel the health and wellbeing benefits, whilst spending quality time with your family.


5th, 12th and 19th August

Location (where to meet)

Amory Park
EX16 6DH

9:30 – 11:30am

Newton Abbot

8th, 15th and 22th August

Location (where to meet)

Pro-Cycle Centre
Wharf House,
Wharf Rd,
Newton Abbot
TQ12 2DA

9:30 – 11:30am


6th, 13th and 20th August

Location (where to meet)

Ride On Exeter
61 Haven Rd,

9:30 – 11:00am

Get involved in the Active Devon Active Families Cycling project and feel the health and wellbeing benefits, whilst spending quality time with your family.

Become a Ride Leader


Are you already a qualified Ride Leader, or, would you like to become one?

If so, we’d love to hear from you. As a Ride Leader you can:

• Be active and feel happier and healthier for it
• Get more connected with people in your community
• Encourage families to be active
• Enable families to enjoy rides together and quality time outdoors

We’re keen to get more Ride Leaders on board, so that we can offer more Active Families Cycle Rides across areas of Devon.

If you are interested in getting involved please email or call us on 01392 925150

Get involved in the Active Devon Active Families Cycling project and feel the health and wellbeing benefits, whilst spending quality time with your family.

Family Cycle Ride Sessions Coming Soon

Our first family cycle rides will be launched in Crediton, Newton Abbot and Wonford, Exeter from September.

These are a great way for mums, dads and grandparents to:

• Be active with your children and feeling happier and healthier for it
• Ride with other families and enjoy being outdoors together

There is a small charge of £3 which includes hire of bike and trailer. The rides are open to children aged up to five years old and they must be accompanied by an adult and ride in the trailer provided.

We will be publishing dates, times, locations and booking details during August, so watch this space.

Devon Sports Awards Winners Announced!

Image from Devon Sports Awards Winners Announced!

Community sporting heroes and heroines across Devon were recognised at Sandy Park on Thursday 11th July 2019 during the 22nd Devon Sports Awards. The evening was an opportunity to pay tribute and thank those groups and individuals who enable thousands of people in Devon to be active and enjoy sport at a grass-roots level.
The celebration evening was a culmination of a six month nomination and shortlisting process organised by a partnership of the Exeter Chiefs Foundation, Active Devon and Exeter College. With guest speakers from Kate Salmon from Row the Ocean, sharing her experience of rowing the Atlantic Ocean in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, December 2018, in order to raise awareness of the ocean plastics crisis, and inspire a Plastic Free Generation and create a Plastic Free Exeter by 2020. along with her hard hitting message of the stream of plastic pollution she witnessed, guests also took away thoughts of how sore ones bum gets on an Atlantic row and how valued Hobnob biscuits are!

Devon Sports Awards

A Q & A with Rob Baxter, Director of Rugby at the Exeter Chiefs also provoked an enlightening and entertaining midway break to the awards and responded well to guest host for the evening, Jenny Walrond. He’s still to answer the thought provoking question about when dogs lick your face, but did give a good insight into his journey through rugby and thoughts on youngsters and sport.

The sports awards showed how dedicated our sporting community hero’s truly are and paid tribute to all the hard work which is going on within Devon with the winners listed below (the nominees can be found here )

And the Devon Sports Awards winners are……

Devon Coach of the Year – James Lake, Tavistock Swimming Club

Devon Young Coach of the Year – Cody Levell, Totnes & Dartington Disability Football

Devon Volunteer of the Year – Rex Meredith, Castle Inn Rowers

Devon Young Volunteer of the Year – Beth Groves, St Budeaux Tennis Club

Contribution to Inclusive Sport – Deaf Get Active and Volunteer, Living Options

Devon Club of the Year – Axe Vale Netball Club

Workplace Activity Champion – Charlotte Gill, Livewell Southwest

Performances in Community Sport
– Tilly Robinson, Westcountry Hawks
– Ashmoor Hockey Club
– Bryony Frost
– Dawlish Ladies Football Club U18s
– City of Plymouth Trampoline and Gymnastic Club

Business Contribution to Sport in the Community – Exeter City Community Trust (Exeter)

Business Contribution to Staff Wellbeing through Sporting Activity – Axminster Tools & Machinery

Nominations will open again early next year so make sure you’re following our
Facebook , Instagram and Twitter

Finalists announced for the 2019 Devon Sports Awards

Image from Finalists announced for the 2019 Devon Sports Awards

26 exceptional individuals and community groups have been chosen as finalists for the prestigious 2019 Exeter Chiefs Foundation Devon Sports Awards. It’s the 22nd year that the awards are being made and once again they are being supported by SW Comms.

Those shortlisted include coaches, clubs, volunteers and sportspeople from right across Devon. Once again they reflect a truly diverse range of sports including netball, water polo, rowing, swimming and tennis.

The Awards, which will take place on July 11th at Sandy Park, celebrate sporting contributions and achievements from community level coaching and workplace fitness right through to the next generation of elite sports performers. The main purpose of the Awards is to recognise those who inspire people to participate at all levels of sport and physical activity.

“The Devon Sports Awards are all about embracing the amazing work being carried out within the community at every level.” said Tony Rowe, chairman of the Exeter Chiefs Foundation.

“Over the years we have witnessed some amazing achievements, and I’ve no doubt that this year’s awards ceremony will remind us of even more.”

“As a county we should be very proud of all our clubs, facilities and, of course, the sportsmen and women of all ages who give so much. Please get behind all of our nominees and show your support as we continue to put Devon firmly on the sporting map.”

The expert judging panel, co-ordinated by Active Devon who are overseeing the Awards in partnership with the Exeter Chiefs Foundation and Exeter College, has so far whittled the entries down to the final 26 individuals, teams and clubs from an extremely strong pool of well over 100 nominations. Finalists in the two remaining categories, the Business Contribution to Sport in the Community and Business Contribution to Staff Wellbeing Through Sporting Activity, will be announced shortly.

Rob Bosworth, Vice Principal, Exeter College said:  “Exeter College is delighted to be a partner for the Devon Sports Awards once again. It’s always great to be able to recognise the unsung heroes that keep sport and physical activity thriving in Devon. We continue to invest in sport and physical activity for our students and will this year launch our new £2.4m Gym and Dance Studio.”

In addition to the 10 main award categories, the most prestigious honour of the evening is for Outstanding Contribution to Sport in Devon. It is awarded from amongst the winners of each category and will be announced at the end of the celebration evening.

“The judges really do have a tough time having to choose from such a strong pool of entries” said Matt Evans, Chief Executive of Active Devon.

“The Devon Sports Awards is a special way in which we can celebrate their achievements. We want to thank everyone who nominated someone special in their sport.”


The latest list of 2019 finalists is:


Devon Coach of the Year                            

Danny Anstey, City of Plymouth Trampoline & Gymnastics

James Lake, Tavistock Swimming Club

Phil Shears, Newton Abbot Water Polo


Devon Young Coach of the Year

Cody Levell, Totnes & Dartington Disability Football

James Jennings, South Devon Tennis Centre

Tristen Olner, Power Athletics Cheerleading Academy


Devon Volunteer of the Year

Candace Jewell, Bideford Amateur Athletics Club

Rex Meredith, Castle Inn Rowers

Susanne Jennings, Breeze Champion


Devon Young Volunteer of the Year

Beth Groves, St Budeaux Tennis Club

Guy Hamer, Healthy Humans Group

Harris Surry, Making Waves Together Project


Contribution to Inclusive Sport

Living Options – Deaf Get Active and Volunteer

Matthew Ovey, Barnstaple Youth Ability Games

Street Factory CIC


Devon Club of the Year

Axe Vale Netball Club

Exeter Roller Derby

Ivybridge Rugby Club


Workplace Activity Champion

Charlotte Gill, Livewell Southwest

Frances Connell

Lisa Cruise


Performances in Community Sport

Ashmoor Hockey Club

Bryony Frost

Dawlish Ladies Football Club U18s

City of Plymouth Trampoline & Gymnastics Club

Tilly Robinson, Westcountry Hawks


Business Contribution to Sport in the Community

Exeter City Community Trust (Exeter)

Argyle Community Trust (Plymouth)

Sea Sports South West (Teignmouth)


Business Contribution to Staff Wellbeing through Sporting Activity

Axminster Tools & Machinery (Axminster)

GROW (Exeter)


More information about the Devon Sports Awards is on the Devon Sports Awards Facebook page @DevonSportsAwards and Twitter @DevSportsAwards. Tickets can be purchased for the Awards at Sandy Park.


Devon’s prescription for a naturally healthy lifestyle

Image from Devon’s prescription for a naturally healthy lifestyle

People in Devon are being encouraged to get active this May and take steps towards a more naturally healthy lifestyle.

Enjoying Devon’s beautiful environment can have huge benefits for your wellbeing. There are lots of ways you can get involved; going for a wild swim, walk, cycle ride or just being somewhere outdoors where you feel happy!

Devon’s Local Nature Partnership (DLNP) is hoping that many of us will feel inspired to take advantage of the opportunities on offer around the county and reduce time we spend in the doctors waiting room!

“It is not a pill or potion, but we should consider connecting with nature as a prescription. It’s one that works, costs nothing and has no side effects.” said Dr James Szymankiewicz, a North Devon GP and Chair of the Devon LNP who is passionate about protecting and managing Devon’s environment and reconnecting communities with the natural world.

“It is so easy to do, just take that step outside to start with. The most important thing is you enjoy it. Think of it as an opportunity to invest a bit of time in looking after yourself, your family and this place we call home.”

There will be lots of fantastic events and activities going on throughout the month for people of all ages to get involved in.

Why not go for a coastal wildlife walk at Northam Burrows, try some Forest Tai Chi in Okehampton or even head out for a canoe safari at Seaton wetlands. More details about events and opportunities are available on the Devon Local Nature Partnership website

Organisers and participants are being encouraged to inspire others by using the hashtags #NaturallyHealthy #DevonCAN on social media. 

Naturally Healthy May is supported by the ‘Connecting Actively to Nature’ programme (CAN) which is managed by Active Devon and aimed at the 55+ age group.

“This is potentially life changing for some people.” said Tom Mack, Active Devon.

“For many of us, going for a stroll, doing some yoga outdoors or going for a walk on the beach and dipping our toes in the sea is quite a normal every day thing to do.”

“Actually, for someone who is not exercising, being active or getting out there in nature, or has some barriers to get through, it can be quite a big deal. If they can overcome that, perhaps with a little help from this initiative, the benefits are even greater.”

Naturally Healthy May is led by Devon Local Nature Partnership and supports local organisations to host events and activities throughout the month. It brings together a wide range of partners from health, wellbeing, community and environment sectors. If you are interested in getting involved in Naturally Healthy May you can contact or

Dr James Szymankiewicz:

“I think most of us feel that how we live is not good for our physical health or our mental wellbeing. We spend too much time inside, too much screen time, and too much time quite stressed. Naturally Healthy May is an opportunity to reframe what’s important to us by getting outside more and connecting to the natural world. By using this as a launchpad, people will recognise the value of that and embed it in their day to day life.”

#NaturallyHealthy #DevonCan


Active Devon – A very healthy organisation!

Image from Active Devon – A very healthy organisation!

Active Devon has passed its own health check with flying colours.  It’s been rated ‘very good’ by the independent industry standard ‘Quest’ quality scheme which monitors the effectiveness of the UK’s sport and leisure providers.

We are a community focussed, not for profit organisation, inspiring and supporting people in Devon to lead active lifestyles, whether that’s getting active for the first time, or continuing throughout their lives.

The Quest report highlights many areas of strong performance, including:

• A very passionate, knowledgeable and capable staff team, demonstrating high levels of commitment

• Partnership working and collaboration — producing a good reputation locally and nationally.

• A positive ‘can do’ mentality, with challenges met head on.

• Proactive approach to embedding disability and inclusion across the organisation.

• Depth and breadth of knowledge about the county, and a commitment to put people at the heart of decision making.

“I’m delighted with this report and very proud of everyone involved in Active Devon because this is recognition of a great team effort.” said Matt Evans, Chief Executive, Active Devon.

“It’s fantastic to have external recognition of the strength of our people, both staff and partners.“

“They are all truly passionate and committed to making a difference in the community.  We remain focussed on our strategy, which runs through to 2022 delivering our mission to inspire and support local people to get, and stay, active.”

The Quest report suggested that Active Devon could do better in raising public awareness of the work it does and the support it offers.

“We accept that we’ve not been very good at ‘blowing our own trumpet.” said Matt Evans

“We are taking steps to change this, including some high profile initiatives this year, such as the ‘Devon Girls Can’ campaign which was featured heavily in the local media, and our current ‘Big Devon March’ which has seen a record number of local people and businesses sign-up.  We are also expanding our social media activity and developing a new, interactive, website.”

The report comes as Active Devon makes plans for the year ahead, so it is an ideal opportunity to reflect on the strengths and improvement areas. It’s an exciting time to be part of Active Devon and, along with partners, the organisation is looking forward to delivering even more community impact.

“There are many wonderful opportunities in Devon to get more active.” said Hannah Worth, Director, Active Devon.

“Whether it’s making use of our vast array of beautiful natural environment, or great initiatives like ‘Couch to 5k’ supporting thousands of people in Devon to lace up their trainers, what really matters is increasing our breathing and heart rate for at least 10 minutes a day.”

“The health benefits are so strong that if exercise was a pill, it would be hailed as a wonder drug.”
“We direct a lot of our resources into reaching Devon’s least active and those who have barriers to overcome This sees us develop exciting initiatives that redefine how exercise is delivered and promoted to gently shift people’s daily habits.”

“With that in mind, Devon people will hear from us much more throughout 2019!”

Quest: Executive Summary

Devon youngsters prepare for Winter School Games

Image from Devon youngsters prepare for Winter School Games

Almost 1000 youngsters will be competing in the Devon winter school games.

The popular event, organised by Active Devon, is being staged at the Torbay Leisure Centre, Clennon Valley.

The school games, funded by Sport England, are designed to deliver competitive sport to all young people. They will come from Devon’s primary and secondary school age groups and more than 500 will be taking part in the cross-country competition and festival races.

There will be several competition sports, including:
Table Tennis
Cross Country
High Fives Netball

In addition there will be a variety of taster activities for the youngsters to try:
Rugby League
Taiko Drumming

75 young leaders will be helping with officiating and scoring. They will also play a key role in organising the innovative Personal Challenge Arena. “This will provide youngsters with an opportunity to compete against themselves and others,” said Lisa Alford, Active Devon.

“This is aimed at improving personal performance, with a focus on the process rather than the outcome.”

The highlight of the opening ceremony will be a performance by the Curledge Street dance club, fresh from their appearance at the Torbay Schools dance festival at the Princess Theatre.

Helping to inspire the youngsters throughout the day will be 2 special sporting champions (pictured below)


Almost 1000 youngsters will be competing in the Devon winter school games.The popular event was organised by Active Devon
Anna Mae Cole – Grade 2 para dressage rider
Almost 1000 youngsters will be competing in the Devon winter school games.The popular event was organised by Active Devon
James Bevis – British sports-shooter who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Paralympics

Big Devon March – put your workplace ‘top of the league’

Image from Big Devon March – put your workplace ‘top of the league’

If you own a device which counts the number of steps you take each day, you can team up with work colleagues and enter a Devon wide challenge!

The ‘Big Devon March’* encourages employees to get out of the office and raise heart rates a little! If becoming healthier isn’t incentive enough, there are also prizes on offer for those workplaces which lead the way in striding out across the county. Individuals can sign up alongside work colleagues and start ‘collecting’ steps! Those who achieve the highest average numbers will put their company on the leaderboard!

“Increasing physical activity is one of the most powerful interventions known for improving public health and wellbeing.” said Hannah Worth, Director at Active Devon.

“Physical inactivity can have real business and economic consequences. Workplace sickness alone is estimated to cost the economy in England £5.5bn a year, so we’re hoping this campaign will appeal to employer and employee alike.”

“The aim is to help people build a little more activity into their working day and shift the working culture to become less sedentary. Its estimated that for many people 80% of the working day is spent sat down. Sitting for long periods has very negative health impacts, reducing metabolism and increasing likelihood of acquiring conditions such as coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”

Following the walkaway success of the initiative in 2018, there’s now another chance for local businesses and their staff to get involved.

“More than 500 people took part last year and we got some excellent feedback from them.” said Louise Evans, Programme Manager at Active Devon.

“We will build on that success for the 2019 event, providing more opportunities and support for individuals and businesses who would like to get involved.”

“It’s great to see the friendly rivalry develop between competing businesses, or different teams within the same company.”

In 2018 Active Devon partnered with the South West Coastpath and provided incentives such as walking poles, socks and maps. Participating organisations will once again be sent introductory information packs to help inspire their workforce and build momentum.

Active Devon is delivering the Big Devon March as part of Devon County Council’s Access Fund programme “Walking and Cycling to Prosperity.”

It’s hoped more than 1000 people across Devon will take part in the 2019 event.

All those taking part in March 2019 will be encouraged to share their photos and experiences on social media using #bigdevonmarch

Find out more and sign-up


Hundreds of youngsters set to take part in Devon Ability Games

Image from Hundreds of youngsters set to take part in Devon Ability Games
Youngsters enjoying medal success at Devon Ability Games


Three hundred youngsters from mainstream special educational needs departments and Special Schools will be taking part in the Devon ability games in Barnstaple this week.

The event is being staged at the Tarka Tennis Centre on Wednesday 6th February. The opening ceremony begins at 10.15 am and will include a street dancing performance by a group of students from Great Torrington School.

“It’s always great to see so much healthy competitive sport.” said Lisa Alford, Active Devon.

“This event also provides opportunities for participants to try new and different types of physical activities which they really enjoy”

Three hours of competition will get underway at 11am.

Among the featured sports are:

* Sitting Volleyball

* New Age Kurling

* Archery

* Table Cricket

In addition, there will also be a number of taster activities, including:

* Boccia

* Street Dance

* Wheelchair Basketball

* Laser Shooting

* Fencing

* Taiko Drumming

* Mini Red Tennis

The Active Devon organisers are delighted that around 70 young leaders will assist with the officiating, scoring and staging of the event

They will be joined by sporting champion Adam Tobin, a North Devon gymnast who currently trains at the nearby Falcons academy in Barnstaple. Adam has been there since

he was 6 years old, and now trains for 30 hours every week. He is the current British U18 champion, European silver medallist and finished 5th at the youth Olympics in Argentina. Adam is a current member of the Great Britain Senior squad and a UK Sport funded athlete.

“We are so pleased to have a local sporting icon attending this event.” said Lisa Alford.

“Adam is such an inspiration to young people, and I know he’s really looking forward to meeting as many of the youngsters as he can throughout the day”

The medal presentation ceremony is scheduled to take place at 2pm

Devon Girls Can – Get active in 2019

Image from Devon Girls Can – Get active in 2019

By popular demand, the ‘Devon Girls Can’ campaign returns this month (January 2019) helping kickstart those new year resolutions to be more active for 2019!

Once again Active Devon is bringing the campaign to life locally, building on the success of previous years. It’s already inspired more than 1000 women and girls in the county to move more and feel great!

The 2019 campaign will have lots of activities on offer with even more of a supportive network and inspiring ambassadors.

“We want to reach, support and encourage even more women and girls to overcome their barriers and feel the benefits of being active in body and mind” said Louise Evans, Programmes Manager, Active Devon.

“The campaign is all about motivating each other to get active no matter who we are, where we’re from or how well we do it.”

The Devon events are all part of Sport England’s national ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, funded by the National Lottery. Their research shows there are a mix of practical and emotional pressures that stop many women from being as active as they would like.

“We understand that time, money, lack of confidence and energy are barriers towards getting active and we are working with trusted partners and ambassadors to help overcome these barriers and to encourage women and girls across Devon to take that first move, jiggle or wiggle to being more active.” said Louise

In previous years Active Devon has part funded many projects and helped many 100s of women and girls. 80% said they only took part because of the campaign.

Young mum Rochelle Jones got involved with the campaign after the birth of her daughter.

“I thought to myself, I don’t want to just sit at home and let the day go by.” said Rochelle.

“The campaign really struck a chord with me and I just went out and got a couple of dumbbells and started slowly and built up gradually with some very simple exercise programmes.”

“I feel so much better about myself and I would recommend getting involved, either as an individual or in one of the group activities”

“If you want to get involved and know more about what’s happening in your local community, or keen to inspire others, that’s fantastic. Please get in touch with us on our @DevonGirlsCan  on   social media channels

Instagram – @DevonGirlsCan                   Facebook – /DevonGirlsCan

Instagram – @ActiveDevon                       Facebook /ActiveDevon


The 2019 ‘Devon Girls Can’ campaign starts on January 21st and runs through until the end of February.

Devon Girls Can 2019