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Sport for Confidence secures permanent home at Witham Leisure Centre

Fusion Lifestyle, the charitable Trust that manages Witham Leisure Centre, has confirmed its commitment to continue to fund the award-winning Sport For Confidence programme which provides sporting opportunities to hundreds of individuals who face barriers to participation.

Placing health specialists alongside sports coaches to deliver sport and physical activity sessions, Sport For Confidence, working in partnership with many other community groups from GP surgeries to care homes and community nursing groups, uses occupational therapy practice to promote life changing outcomes for individual involved.

Jonathan Bash, Centre Manager, says: “Our ambition is to serve the whole community. We believe everybody, regardless of ability, deserves access to high quality physical activity services and facilities. Sport For Confidence enables us to attract individuals who may otherwise never engage with our services and we are looking forward to working with the team over the coming years to grow the programme.”

Witham Leisure Centre currently runs 6 Sport for Confidence sessions per week, offering Boccia, Multisports, Swimming, Dementia Friendly Swimming and Inclusive Dance. Jake Turner, Sport For Confidence Positive Behaviour Support Practitioner, says: ““We adopt a client-centred approach, ensuring every session is adapted to cater for the needs of those involved and tailored to move individuals towards identified outcomes.

“When the programme launched at the centre in 2016, the ambition, by the end of the first twenty four month period, was to have engaged 68 participants and delivered 1,386 interventions. In this time, the programme actually engaged 211 participants, a 310% increase on the original target, and delivered 2,600 interventions. This proved the success of the programme and earlier this year we were proud winners of the ukactive, national Inclusion and Disability award.”

For the first two years, Sport For Confidence at Witham Leisure Centre was funded by Public Health, England. Now that this funding cycle has come to an end, Fusion Lifestyle has committed to integrating the programme into their core offer ensuring the longer term future of the programme and proving the Sport for Confidence model can be self sustaining.

“This is indeed great news” adds Jake. “Our programme engages individuals with a range of needs and abilities from people with a learning disability, to mental health problems, dementia and many other complex health needs. In addition to the many physical and mental benefits associated with regular physical activity, participants have recorded wider outcomes, including: Increased independence in daily tasks, heightened awareness of self and health issues, team work, self-expression, enhanced decision-making, effective communication skills, reduced dependency on others and improved self-confidence.

“Now that Sport For Confidence is an integral part of the centre programme we will continue to work with Fusion Lifestyle to expand the offer and grow participation numbers even further.”

Sport For Confidence is a social enterprise, based in Essex, hosting its award winning programme at a number of leisure facilities across the county, plus one in Waltham Forest.

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