GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Technogym
Technogym
Technogym
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

sporta series: Removing barriers

Continuing our series showcasing projects being run by sporta members across the country, Abigail Harris takes a look at three life-changing programmes designed to remove barriers to exercise in the London boroughs

By Abigail Harris | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 11

Residents give fitness a go

Organisations: Jubilee Hall Trust,
GLL and Central YMCA
Project: Give it a Go

Jubilee Hall Trust, GLL and Central YMCA partnered with the London Borough of Camden, NHS North Central London and NHS London
to launch ‘Give it a Go’ (GIAG) in 2009/2010, funding four months’ free access to local leisure centres for Camden residents in receipt of benefits.

The London Borough of Camden is the 13th most deprived borough within London; eight of Camden’s ‘Lower Super Output Areas’ (LSOAs) are in the 10 per cent most deprived in England. GIAG was introduced to tackle inequalities and remove cost as a barrier to physical activity participation, after the Camden Sport and Physical Activity Needs Assessment Report 2009 demonstrated an unequivocal need to increase physical activity levels in the area: 44 per cent of respondents had not participated for 30 minutes in the previous three months.

Give It A Go’s third phase, which finished in May this year, saw 725 local people attend an induction at their specified leisure centre. Twenty per cent of those registering had a disability of some kind, and while the largest ethnic group was ‘white British’ (32 per cent), a further 16 ethnic groups were represented. In addition, 65 per cent of those initially registered for the scheme were female – 14 per cent higher than the Census figures for the area.
Activities on offer were not limited to the leisure centres themselves, with a green gym, cardiac rehabilitation, a community physical activity programme and cycling schemes also included.

The programme, which focused on behaviour change, incentivised participants to exercise a minimum of five times a month in order to receive a further free month’s membership. Fitness instructors hosting the inductions and subsequent training sessions were given training in motivational interviewing, while texts, email alerts and monthly incentives were also used to encourage exercise adherence among participants.

Around a third of those attending a first induction exercised for four consecutive months to complete the scheme, and of those, 44 per cent said they had joined their leisure centre. Across all participants who completed the four months, there was a combined increase of 101 hours’ more vigorous activity, 171 hours’ more moderate activity and 283 hours’ walking.

“Give it a Go has really helped me at all levels – not just physical, but also mental and emotional,” says one participant. “Using the gym has made me physically stronger, which is helpful when carrying heavy shopping bags or running up the escalators in the tube. I’m also more flexible and healthy.
“I’m sure it’s increased my confidence too. My stress levels have lowered thanks to both the gym and the yoga classes. I didn’t know Give it a Go would have such an impact on my wellbeing. Being strong in your body also makes you strong in your mind.”

Participants must attend five sessions a month to receive a further free month’s membership
Participants must attend five sessions a month to receive a further free month’s membership

Walking ‘the beautiful game’

Organisation: Fusion Lifestyle
Project: Walking football

Fusion Lifestyle is running walking football sessions for people who would still like to engage in competitive football, but who can no longer run around the pitch.

The walking football sessions – which were launched this summer – are a joint initiative between Fusion Lifestyle and the Surrey FA, and are aimed at the over-55s as well as younger people with injuries that have left them less able-bodied.

Having spent years away from the game, participants John McNiff, 54, Martin Goff, 67, and Andy Cox, 62, get to pull their boots on every Friday morning at Thornton Heath Leisure Centre. After only a few sessions, they are already singing its praises.

Cox says: “I’m fitter now than I was 30 years ago when I last played football. It’s benefited all aspects of my life: now, when I go on holiday, I can go on longer scenic walks.”

Goff adds: “I haven’t played football since primary school, but look at me now. I find the gym can be a boring way to keep fit, whereas this is good fun. The competitive element adds something extra too.”

The slower-paced version of the ‘beautiful game’ is played with a size 4 Futsal, and those who run, jog or sprint will be penalised, with a free kick awarded against them. Each hour-long session starts with a series of stretches and dribbling exercises, moving on to drills designed to improve a player’s ability to shield the ball, before ending with a game.

McNiff isn’t content with just turning up and playing – he’s looking to actively improve one key area of his game. “You have to think about your passing more, as your natural instinct is to deliver the ball for someone to run to. Glenn Hoddle was great at getting a ball to stop dead, and that’s something I’m trying to work into my game,” he says.

Crystal Palace Foundation has started promoting the sessions to its older and less fit supporters and, with sessions currently taking place in the morning, Fusion Lifestyle is looking to add an additional session in the evening or at the weekend to engage younger people.

Kevin West, Surrey FA development officer, was instrumental in setting up the session alongside Fusion Lifestyle. He says: “For anyone to engage and ultimately continue to participate in physical activity, it must be something they really enjoy. The walking football initiative provides exactly this opportunity for individuals who previously loved to play football, but who felt they had to hang up their boots due to lack of fitness.

“I’ve been able to watch as the participants’ ability and confidence has grown week by week. To see them then go on to play as a team in a local competition, with the same commitment and will to compete as you’d expect from those in mainstream football, justified the efforts of those who helped establish the sessions.”

Jemel Stuart, a coach at Thornton Heath, adds: “Walking football is a great idea. When I first heard about it I was a bit apprehensive, but it’s been good fun. I look forward to introducing it in other sessions, as it’s a good tool to teach patterns of play and other skills.”   

The Walking Football sessions target those over-55s who are less fit
The Walking Football sessions target those over-55s who are less fit

Soundball tennis aids visually impaired

Organisation: Aquaterra Leisure
Project: Soundball Tennis

Tennis players with visual impairments are benefiting from a unique association between Metro Blind Sport, a London-based sports and social club for blind and partially sighted people, and the Islington Tennis Centre, where sessions use specially adapted soundballs that allow players to hear the ball coming.

The two-hour soundball tennis sessions are held on Fridays for advanced players who can rally, and Sundays for beginners and people who are totally blind, where volunteers, as well as the tennis coach, are on-hand to support the players. The standard rules of tennis apply with just a few modifications: if you’re totally blind, you’re allowed three bounces; and if partially sighted you’re allowed two.

The sessions are funded by Sport Islington, which distributes Islington Council and SportsAid funding each year to support local sports clubs and help young sports people develop within their chosen sports. Islington Tennis Centre, which is managed by leisure operator and registered charity Aquaterra, first ran soundball tennis in 2011, but its popularity led to the programming of regular weekly sessions.

“I’d been keen to try out adapted tennis to fully appreciate how the game and its equipment feel. The answer is: brilliant!” says Ian Francis, sports development officer at Metro Blind Sport. “After two hours of competitive matches, a few drills, coaching tips and plenty of friendly banter, I was left in no doubt that this is a game to be enjoyed across all abilities and levels.   

“Being visually impaired doesn’t have to be a barrier to a healthier lifestyle. Regular coaching encourages players to develop their game, and the facilities allow all ages and abilities to take part.”

Raising the profile of the activity is bringing results. Islington Tennis Centre hosted a regional LTA one-day visually impaired tennis camp in September, supported by Metro Blind, and is also hosting a junior taster session for soundball tennis in November.

Metro Blind Sport was recently named Sport Islington organisation of the year at the Sport Islington and Islington School Sport Partnership awards. Sport Islington chair Michael MacNeill says: “It was heartwarming to see Metro Blind Sport win, particularly as it’s their 40th year and one year on from the success of the Paralympics.”

Volunteers are on-hand to support the players
Volunteers are on-hand to support the players
Players can hear the specially adapted balls coming
Players can hear the specially adapted balls coming
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2013_11remove.gif
Abigail Harris looks at three life-changing sporta community projects in the London boroughs
Jubilee Hall Trust, GLL, Central YMCA Club, Fusion Lifestyle Ltd, Aquaterra Leisure,community projects, london
HCM magazine
Energy is top of the agenda for two major reasons – cost and decarbonisation. With these two on a collision course, our experts share their views
HCM magazine
Teenage girls are not voluntarily leaving activity, they’re being pushed out as a consequence of deep-rooted gender stereotypes
HCM magazine
Despite industry challenges, there’s a fresh air of positivity
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Everyone has the right to know about their own internal data, to enable and motivate them to take control of their own health
HCM Magazine
Flooring
Time for a flooring upgrade? Experts share their latest insights to inspire flooring projects of all types
HCM Magazine
Insight
After a hiatus due to the pandemic, LeisureDB has updated its State of the Fitness Industry Report for 2022, as David Minton reports
HCM Magazine
HCM People
HCM Magazine
Write to reply
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM Magazine
HCM People
We want Grndhouse to be everywhere: in gyms, hotels, on holidays, at home – it’s boutique fitness in your hand
HCM Magazine
Facilities
What to do when your changing rooms need a refresh, but your budget is stretched? These specialists share their top tips for easy upgrades that won’t break the bank
HCM Magazine
Latest News
Music service provider Rehegoo (pronounced Reh-air-go) has launched a streaming service for health clubs, gyms, ...
Latest News
F45 has launched a corporate partnership programme which will enable businesses to open an F45 ...
Latest News
A two-year research project will look to find ways to transform the UK's physical activity ...
Latest News
The best in the business from across the physical activity sector were honoured last night ...
Latest News
At UK Active’s Active Uprising event yesterday (30 June) in Birmingham, Hattie Jones, the head ...
Latest News
HCM understands researchers are moving closer to creating a pill to mimic some of the ...
Latest News
Establishing new data and insight services and strengthening relationships with both government and the NHS ...
Latest News
More than one in five (27 per cent) Americans belonged to a health club or ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Fitness industry to gather at Sibec Europe-UK in Portugal this September
Questex’s iconic event Sibec Europe-UK – known as Europe’s leading hosted buyer event for the fitness industry – will take place from 27-30 September at the Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, in Portugal.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: How wearables-driven gamification will boost your business
It’s a known fact that gamification is an effective method to make everyday activities and work more fun.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active to launch new exercise classes to reduce gender gap
As part of their work to break down the barriers that deter women and girls from participating in sport and physical activity, Everyone Active has teamed up with EMD UK to launch new exercise classes linked to the This Girl Can campaign.
Company profiles
Company profile: TRIB3 International Ltd
First established in Sheffield in January 2016 TRIB3 is a bootcamp boutique studio designed to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Technogym UK Ltd
Technogym offers a complete ecosystem of connected smart equipment, digital services, on-demand training experiences and ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - A matched philosophy
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

sporta series: Removing barriers

Continuing our series showcasing projects being run by sporta members across the country, Abigail Harris takes a look at three life-changing programmes designed to remove barriers to exercise in the London boroughs

By Abigail Harris | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 11

Residents give fitness a go

Organisations: Jubilee Hall Trust,
GLL and Central YMCA
Project: Give it a Go

Jubilee Hall Trust, GLL and Central YMCA partnered with the London Borough of Camden, NHS North Central London and NHS London
to launch ‘Give it a Go’ (GIAG) in 2009/2010, funding four months’ free access to local leisure centres for Camden residents in receipt of benefits.

The London Borough of Camden is the 13th most deprived borough within London; eight of Camden’s ‘Lower Super Output Areas’ (LSOAs) are in the 10 per cent most deprived in England. GIAG was introduced to tackle inequalities and remove cost as a barrier to physical activity participation, after the Camden Sport and Physical Activity Needs Assessment Report 2009 demonstrated an unequivocal need to increase physical activity levels in the area: 44 per cent of respondents had not participated for 30 minutes in the previous three months.

Give It A Go’s third phase, which finished in May this year, saw 725 local people attend an induction at their specified leisure centre. Twenty per cent of those registering had a disability of some kind, and while the largest ethnic group was ‘white British’ (32 per cent), a further 16 ethnic groups were represented. In addition, 65 per cent of those initially registered for the scheme were female – 14 per cent higher than the Census figures for the area.
Activities on offer were not limited to the leisure centres themselves, with a green gym, cardiac rehabilitation, a community physical activity programme and cycling schemes also included.

The programme, which focused on behaviour change, incentivised participants to exercise a minimum of five times a month in order to receive a further free month’s membership. Fitness instructors hosting the inductions and subsequent training sessions were given training in motivational interviewing, while texts, email alerts and monthly incentives were also used to encourage exercise adherence among participants.

Around a third of those attending a first induction exercised for four consecutive months to complete the scheme, and of those, 44 per cent said they had joined their leisure centre. Across all participants who completed the four months, there was a combined increase of 101 hours’ more vigorous activity, 171 hours’ more moderate activity and 283 hours’ walking.

“Give it a Go has really helped me at all levels – not just physical, but also mental and emotional,” says one participant. “Using the gym has made me physically stronger, which is helpful when carrying heavy shopping bags or running up the escalators in the tube. I’m also more flexible and healthy.
“I’m sure it’s increased my confidence too. My stress levels have lowered thanks to both the gym and the yoga classes. I didn’t know Give it a Go would have such an impact on my wellbeing. Being strong in your body also makes you strong in your mind.”

Participants must attend five sessions a month to receive a further free month’s membership
Participants must attend five sessions a month to receive a further free month’s membership

Walking ‘the beautiful game’

Organisation: Fusion Lifestyle
Project: Walking football

Fusion Lifestyle is running walking football sessions for people who would still like to engage in competitive football, but who can no longer run around the pitch.

The walking football sessions – which were launched this summer – are a joint initiative between Fusion Lifestyle and the Surrey FA, and are aimed at the over-55s as well as younger people with injuries that have left them less able-bodied.

Having spent years away from the game, participants John McNiff, 54, Martin Goff, 67, and Andy Cox, 62, get to pull their boots on every Friday morning at Thornton Heath Leisure Centre. After only a few sessions, they are already singing its praises.

Cox says: “I’m fitter now than I was 30 years ago when I last played football. It’s benefited all aspects of my life: now, when I go on holiday, I can go on longer scenic walks.”

Goff adds: “I haven’t played football since primary school, but look at me now. I find the gym can be a boring way to keep fit, whereas this is good fun. The competitive element adds something extra too.”

The slower-paced version of the ‘beautiful game’ is played with a size 4 Futsal, and those who run, jog or sprint will be penalised, with a free kick awarded against them. Each hour-long session starts with a series of stretches and dribbling exercises, moving on to drills designed to improve a player’s ability to shield the ball, before ending with a game.

McNiff isn’t content with just turning up and playing – he’s looking to actively improve one key area of his game. “You have to think about your passing more, as your natural instinct is to deliver the ball for someone to run to. Glenn Hoddle was great at getting a ball to stop dead, and that’s something I’m trying to work into my game,” he says.

Crystal Palace Foundation has started promoting the sessions to its older and less fit supporters and, with sessions currently taking place in the morning, Fusion Lifestyle is looking to add an additional session in the evening or at the weekend to engage younger people.

Kevin West, Surrey FA development officer, was instrumental in setting up the session alongside Fusion Lifestyle. He says: “For anyone to engage and ultimately continue to participate in physical activity, it must be something they really enjoy. The walking football initiative provides exactly this opportunity for individuals who previously loved to play football, but who felt they had to hang up their boots due to lack of fitness.

“I’ve been able to watch as the participants’ ability and confidence has grown week by week. To see them then go on to play as a team in a local competition, with the same commitment and will to compete as you’d expect from those in mainstream football, justified the efforts of those who helped establish the sessions.”

Jemel Stuart, a coach at Thornton Heath, adds: “Walking football is a great idea. When I first heard about it I was a bit apprehensive, but it’s been good fun. I look forward to introducing it in other sessions, as it’s a good tool to teach patterns of play and other skills.”   

The Walking Football sessions target those over-55s who are less fit
The Walking Football sessions target those over-55s who are less fit

Soundball tennis aids visually impaired

Organisation: Aquaterra Leisure
Project: Soundball Tennis

Tennis players with visual impairments are benefiting from a unique association between Metro Blind Sport, a London-based sports and social club for blind and partially sighted people, and the Islington Tennis Centre, where sessions use specially adapted soundballs that allow players to hear the ball coming.

The two-hour soundball tennis sessions are held on Fridays for advanced players who can rally, and Sundays for beginners and people who are totally blind, where volunteers, as well as the tennis coach, are on-hand to support the players. The standard rules of tennis apply with just a few modifications: if you’re totally blind, you’re allowed three bounces; and if partially sighted you’re allowed two.

The sessions are funded by Sport Islington, which distributes Islington Council and SportsAid funding each year to support local sports clubs and help young sports people develop within their chosen sports. Islington Tennis Centre, which is managed by leisure operator and registered charity Aquaterra, first ran soundball tennis in 2011, but its popularity led to the programming of regular weekly sessions.

“I’d been keen to try out adapted tennis to fully appreciate how the game and its equipment feel. The answer is: brilliant!” says Ian Francis, sports development officer at Metro Blind Sport. “After two hours of competitive matches, a few drills, coaching tips and plenty of friendly banter, I was left in no doubt that this is a game to be enjoyed across all abilities and levels.   

“Being visually impaired doesn’t have to be a barrier to a healthier lifestyle. Regular coaching encourages players to develop their game, and the facilities allow all ages and abilities to take part.”

Raising the profile of the activity is bringing results. Islington Tennis Centre hosted a regional LTA one-day visually impaired tennis camp in September, supported by Metro Blind, and is also hosting a junior taster session for soundball tennis in November.

Metro Blind Sport was recently named Sport Islington organisation of the year at the Sport Islington and Islington School Sport Partnership awards. Sport Islington chair Michael MacNeill says: “It was heartwarming to see Metro Blind Sport win, particularly as it’s their 40th year and one year on from the success of the Paralympics.”

Volunteers are on-hand to support the players
Volunteers are on-hand to support the players
Players can hear the specially adapted balls coming
Players can hear the specially adapted balls coming
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2013_11remove.gif
Abigail Harris looks at three life-changing sporta community projects in the London boroughs
Jubilee Hall Trust, GLL, Central YMCA Club, Fusion Lifestyle Ltd, Aquaterra Leisure,community projects, london
Latest News
Music service provider Rehegoo (pronounced Reh-air-go) has launched a streaming service for health clubs, gyms, ...
Latest News
F45 has launched a corporate partnership programme which will enable businesses to open an F45 ...
Latest News
A two-year research project will look to find ways to transform the UK's physical activity ...
Latest News
The best in the business from across the physical activity sector were honoured last night ...
Latest News
At UK Active’s Active Uprising event yesterday (30 June) in Birmingham, Hattie Jones, the head ...
Latest News
HCM understands researchers are moving closer to creating a pill to mimic some of the ...
Latest News
Establishing new data and insight services and strengthening relationships with both government and the NHS ...
Latest News
More than one in five (27 per cent) Americans belonged to a health club or ...
Latest News
Ultimate Performance (UP) – the private gym chain and PT business – has opened a ...
Latest News
Luxury hotel chain Mandarin Oriental has launched a new brand called Intelligent Movement to deliver ...
Latest News
Boutique fitness chain 1Rebel opens the doors to its tenth club today (Monday 27 June ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Fitness industry to gather at Sibec Europe-UK in Portugal this September
Questex’s iconic event Sibec Europe-UK – known as Europe’s leading hosted buyer event for the fitness industry – will take place from 27-30 September at the Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, in Portugal.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: How wearables-driven gamification will boost your business
It’s a known fact that gamification is an effective method to make everyday activities and work more fun.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active to launch new exercise classes to reduce gender gap
As part of their work to break down the barriers that deter women and girls from participating in sport and physical activity, Everyone Active has teamed up with EMD UK to launch new exercise classes linked to the This Girl Can campaign.
Company profiles
Company profile: TRIB3 International Ltd
First established in Sheffield in January 2016 TRIB3 is a bootcamp boutique studio designed to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Technogym UK Ltd
Technogym offers a complete ecosystem of connected smart equipment, digital services, on-demand training experiences and ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - A matched philosophy
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Technogym
Technogym
Partner sites