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Meet trustee Alison Pendlington

Meet trustee Alison Pendlington

In a weekly series, Active Sussex introduces its staff and trustees.

Alison Pendlington has been a trustee for four years and chairperson of the newly-renamed Strategic Performance and Growth sub-committee (previously the Business Development sub-committee).

Here she talks about her love of dancing and cruising (not necessarily at the same time) and the importance of people who deliver or commssion services to consider the barriers to participation in physical activity.

Why did you want to become involved with Active Sussex?

I’ve never been sporty at all and found fitness classes and dancing a few years ago.

I fell in love with movement and how it made me feel and ended up training to be a Zumba teacher and then a dance fitness instructor.

Then the pandemic happened, and I got really sedentary again. I need to pick my dancing back up again properly as I know it makes me feel good, but life gets in the way – which is exactly what it’s like for most people.

If you’re not sporty or into fitness by nature, it’s something you have to make yourself do until you find something you like doing – and you might never find it. I feel like I’m everyman to an extent!

I want to support others to access opportunities they might not know exist and to see them accomplish things they never thought they could.

Plus, the team at Active Sussex are lovely and a pleasure to work alongside.

What would you like seen changed to help encourage more people in Sussex to be physically active?

I’d like people who commission and deliver services to really think about all the barriers to participation in physical activity that exist.

For example, having the wellbeing team for a local council based in a leisure centre. Immediately you’re likely to preaching to the converted, as people who would go to a leisure centre are more likely to already be switched on to the benefits of exercise.

But how do we reach the unreachable, the people who feel intimidated by exercise or feel like moving more really isn’t for them?

And the people who due to age, disability or infirmity can’t access the services currently available in their local area?

I’m not sure anyone really has the answer to that question yet, but we need to solve it as we’re currently sitting on an inactivity timebomb, especially after the pandemic.

We’ll reap what we sow here, and so we need to do all that we can to help people find what they love physical activity-wise and help them to do it.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I went on a cruise last year and loved waking up somewhere different every day, so I’d love to cruise around the world.

I love slightly-less-touristy places in Europe, like Croatia and Estonia, and would also love to go to Japan. That would be a long cruise so might be one to split into chunks. 

Would you be interested in becoming an Active Sussex trustee?

We recruit periodically and are always on the lookout for a diverse range of people who have the skills and expertise to govern Active Sussex, and through our work help us to reduce inequalities in accessing physical activity in Sussex.

If you would like to know more, visit www.activesussex.org/about-us/meet-the-board/ or to put yourself forward for a position email info@activesussex.org

Alison Pendlington
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