Sport For Confidence has partnered with Colchester Borough Council to deliver its award-winning inclusive sports programme to new segments of the community via Leisure World Colchester.
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 four other leisure venues in Essex and one in Waltham Forest, collectively welcoming more than 1,000 participants per month.
Jake Turner, Positive Behaviour Support Practitioner, will work alongside Head Coach, Tom Doughty, to deliver the programme at Leisure World Colchester. He says: “For many people in the community, just walking through the door of a leisure centre presents a challenge. This may be due to a lack of confidence or anxiety about the unfamiliar environment they are entering.
“Being active is a key theme of the Livewell campaign in Colchester. Working in close partnership with Leisure World and a range of stakeholders who provide support and deliver services to groups and individuals most likely to face barriers to getting active, such as GPs, local charities, community nursing and therapies teams etc. we hope to engage with and provide a service bespoke to the individual whatever their need.”
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 Essex County Council and is fully supported by Colchester Borough Council. Cllr Mark Cory, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “Everybody has the right to lead an active lifestyle. Sport For Confidence will build on the work we are already doing in Colchester to engage individuals most in need and who will really prosper from the many social, mental and physical benefits sport and physical activity delivers. I am really pleased to be supporting this project and look forward to seeing the programme develop.”
Initially Leisure World will host three scheduled, Sport For Confidence, sessions a week covering multisports, boccia, and a specific Football for Confidence session.
Tom Doughty, adds: “As we start to attract more participants we will extend the programme and the activities on offer in alignment with the specific needs and preferences of those attending. Sport For Confidence works within a proven framework but each programme has the flexibility to adjust to local requirements recognising that no two communities are the same.”