Local residents are being encouraged to get more active in a bid to reduce their risk of diabetes.
South Tyneside Council's leisure centres are offering a special promotion tomorrow (Saturday, November 14) to mark World Diabetes Day. Those who purchase the annual Get Active Discount or Get Active Plus Discount Cards can receive these at half price.
The cards, which are valid at all of the Council's centres including Haven Point and Hebburn Central, offer a discounted rate on activities for anyone who does not want to commit to a direct debit membership but would benefit from being regular users of the facilities.
Cards are normally priced at £5.75 for an adult resident of South Tyneside and £7.80 for adult non-residents, resulting in a saving of £2.87 and £3.90. Junior cards for those under 18 are free.
South Shields Town Hall on Westoe Road will also be lit blue on Saturday in bid to raise awareness of the condition which affects 9,900 people in the Borough.
Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader at South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: "We hope that as many people as possible take up this fantastic promotion and use our first-class facilities at our leisure centres at Haven Point, Hebburn Central, Monkton Stadium, Temple Park and Jarrow Community Pool.
"There are lots of activities that you can take part in such as trying out various exercise classes, going to the gym and swimming. By offering this promotion we hope to raise awareness of diabetes, a growing problem, which is affecting more and more people throughout South Tyneside.
"It can cause serious health problems, especially if left undetected and by making lifestyle changes such as taking more exercise many people can reduce their risk of being affected by diabetes."
Lead Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Moira Smith, added: "You are more at risk of suffering from diabetes if you are overweight. That's why a healthy diet and exercise is so important to help both lower your chances of developing this long term condition and managing it if you are diagnosed with it. The condition is also becoming more common in children, however, the earlier problems are diagnosed, the less severe those problems will be."
Diabetes UK recommends that those with diabetes should have regular health checks including foot, kidney heart and eyesight screening. To check your level of risk, go to www.diabetes.org.uk/risk
For further information about the Discount Cards either call into one of South Tyneside Council's leisure centres, telephone Haven Point on (0191) 424 7800 or go to www.southtyneside.gov.uk/leisure
For further information on World Diabetes Day go to www.diabetes.co.uk/World-Diabetes-Day.html
Age UK South Tyneside provides a diabetes awareness course on Mondays from 10am-11.15am. The course is aimed at those who are newly diagnosed as well as people who are at risk of diabetes and want to make changes. For more information telephone 0191 456 6903 or email email@example.com