OIA outdoor push to get government to fight fat

The Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) is embarking on a lobbying assault to urge the Government to fight obesity through outdoor recreation.

The trade body has appointed Karol Marketing to provide public affairs advice and encourage the Government to support and actively promote pursuits such as mountaineering, canoeing and rambling.

It is the first time the OIA has called on external government affairs advice in its 41-year history.

One of the agency’s first tasks will be to support the OIA’s involvement in setting up the first all-party parliamentary group on the outdoors, which meets for the first time on 14 September.

It wants to foster a climate whereby resources are developed locally, such as cycle tracks and footpaths.

It will also renew pressure for the Government to ensure volunteers are not deterred from leading expeditions by the worry of legal action.

Tory MP Julian Brazier’s Private Member’s Bill to this effect was talked out in the House of Commons last month.

The account is led by Jeremy Stokes, MD of Karol Marketing (South), whose Southampton office opened in June to support its main office in the North-East.

Stokes said government support for exercise to combat obesity had focused on popular competitive team sports and largely neglected outdoor pursuits.

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