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Wednesday 19 December 2018
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08 Aug 2018
Obama Foundation fellow Alex Smith to speak at ukactive National Summit

Alex Smith, founder of Cares Family and a fellow at the Obama Foundation, will give a keynote speech on loneliness at the ukactive National Summit next month.

Smith set up Cares Family – a group of four community networks based in London, Manchester and Liverpool – in 2011. The project aims to help reduce loneliness in "rapidly changing cities" by connecting young professionals with their older neighbours.

Earlier this year he was selected from more than 20,000 applicants around the world to be one of the first 20 Obama Foundation fellows, in recognition of his work to address loneliness – described as one of society’s fastest growing problems.

"We live in an era of constant connection," Smith said.

"But we also live in a time when layered forces of globalisation, digitisation and transience are changing some communities faster than ever before, leaving many people feeling lonely and left behind.

"I'm really excited to be joining ukactive's National Summit 2018 to talk about how our activity – and especially our interactivity – can help us all to stay close to one another and living fulfilling lives, even in our rapidly changing world."

Loneliness will be high on the Government’s agenda over the coming months and years, with research showing it can be as damaging to a person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and one study finding a 64 per cent increased chance of developing clinical dementia.

The Commission on Loneliness was first set up by the late Jo Cox MP, and earlier this year sports minister Tracey Crouch was appointed to the newly created position of minister for loneliness.

“Loneliness and physical inactivity are intrinsically linked – and both have stark negative impacts on our health – raising our risk of early death significantly," said ukactive CEO Steven Ward.

"So, it’s fantastic that Alex will be speaking to us about how we can address these twin evils, to build more active, connected and healthy communities."

Smith completes the line up of keynote speakers for the ukactive National Summit 2018, which takes place at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London on 12 September.

Other confirmed speakers include health secretary Matt Hancock, deputy labour leader Tom Watson, legendary ballerina Dame Darcey Bussell and children’s commissioner Anne Longfield.

“Alex is an excellent addition to an already stellar line-up at National Summit 2018, bringing together heavyweights in politics, health, sport and dance to address some of society’s most pressing issues," Ward added.

Building on last year’s theme of physical activity as the ‘golden thread’ in solving society’s greatest challenges, National Summit 2018 will set out how the sector can deliver its full value by focusing on all stages of life; from childhood to the workplace and active ageing.

Two landmark research reports will be published at the event; one revealing the results of ukactive’s consultation on the best ways to get children more active, and the other showing the contribution a sector-wide active ageing strategy would make to health and social care targets.

For more information and the full agenda for the ukactive National Summit 2018 – and tickets for the event – see www.ukactive.com/national-summit



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17 Dec 2018
US to have professional T20 cricket competition 'by 2021'
USA Cricket plans to set up a professional T20 cricket league in the country by 2021.
12 Dec 2018
FIBO and Leisure Media announce collaboration
FIBO Global Fitness, organiser of the FIBO portfolio of fitness shows, has announced a partnership with global publisher, Leisure Media.
11 Dec 2018
Sector leaders call for 'preventative health push' to get people more active
Physical activity sector leaders, parliamentarians and leading figures in health and business have called for the strengthening of preventative health measures in the UK.
05 Dec 2018
Inaugural FIBO USA kicks off in Florida, challenging IHRSA Convention
The first ever FIBO USA kicks off in Orlando, Florida today (5 December 2018), directly challenging the established IHRSA International Convention and Trade Show.
04 Dec 2018
Inaugural Sporting Champions awards handed out as part of athlete talent scheme
The inaugural Sporting Champions awards have been held to highlight the successes of a talent development programme that aims to help athletes at all stages of their careers.
03 Dec 2018
Mandarin Oriental encourages guests to disconnect with 'Silent Night' event
Mandarin Oriental has announced that it will host its annual 'Silent Night' event on 12 December.
29 Nov 2018
Glion Institute to host conference on technology and wellness
The Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland will host a three-day conference on Innovation and Technology, and what it means for the spa and wellness industry.
29 Nov 2018
Marcus Buckingham to deliver keynote speech at ISPA Conference
The International SPA Association (ISPA) has announced that Marcus Buckingham will be the day two General Session keynote at the 2019 ISPA Conference & Expo, on 12 September in Las Vegas. Buckingham is a leading authority and best-selling author on employee productivity and best practices of leadership and management.
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