Residents who find it difficult to access mainstream physical activity and sporting sessions can now enjoy a variety of sports at Clacton Leisure Centre, thanks to the arrival of the award-winning Sport For Confidence programme, supported by Tendring District Council.
The pioneering Sport for Confidence programme places specialist health professionals alongside sports coaches to deliver a wide range of sports and physical activities for those who face barriers to participation. The social enterprise is already running successful programmes at 5 other leisure venues in Essex and one in Waltham Forest, collectively welcoming more than 1,000 participants per month.
Lisa Strong, Occupational Therapist, will work alongside Head Coach, Tom Doughty, to deliver the programme at Clacton Leisure Centre. She says: “Everybody deserves to have access to sporting opportunities yet many people in the community struggle to even walk through the doors of a leisure centre. This may be due to a lack of confidence or anxiety about the unfamiliar environment they are entering.
“Working in close partnership with the leisure centre team, community nursing groups, GPs and many other community support services, Sport For Confidence will make regular physical activity possible for many who are currently inactive and, potentially, leading very isolated lives. Every session is adapted to the needs of the participants with a focus on fun and social interaction.”
Sport For Confidence, has already received recognition from NHS England* as an excellent example of how businesses, health professionals and councils can come together to deliver a service which hugely benefits the community. Uniquely, the scheme places an Allied Health Professional and sports coach alongside each other, delivering physical activity sessions designed to bring bespoke, life changing, occupational outcomes to each and every participant.
Funding for the programme has been granted by Tendring District Council. Mick Skeels, Tendring District Council Cabinet Member for Sport and Leisure, says: “Everybody has the right to lead an active lifestyle. Sport For Confidence helps us to engage individuals most in need and who will hugely prosper from the many social, mental and physical benefits sport and physical activity delivers.”
Initially, Clacton Leisure Centre will host scheduled, Sport For Confidence sessions on a Tuesday and Friday.
Lisa, adds: “As the number of participants grows, we will expand the programme, introducing new sports and activities directly in line with the needs and preferences of those attending. Each Sport For Confidence programme works within a proven framework but has flexibility to adjust to local requirements, recognising that every community has bespoke needs.”