Inclusive Sports Programme Announces Further Expansion in Westminster

Following the success of the award winning inclusive sports programme, Sport For Confidence, at the Moberly Leisure Centre, Westminster City Council has given the go ahead to launch the programme in a second venue, increasing opportunities for those who face barriers to participation to get involve in sport and physical activity.

From Wednesday, November 6, Sport For Confidence will run weekly multisport sessions every Wednesday 12-1pm at the Seymour Leisure Centre located at Seymour Place, Marylebone, London, W1H 5TJ. Sessions will follow the tried and tested Sport For Confidence model which places an occupational therapist alongside a sports coach to deliver adaptive sessions which cater for individuals who would otherwise find it difficult to get involved in sport.

“Our model is unique, taking traditional clinical practice out into the community, using sport and physical activity to deliver occupational outcomes which enhance quality of life and promote an active, health lifestyle,” explains Sophie Garratt, Sport For Confidence Occupational Therapist.

The programme has been running for 6 months at the Moberly Leisure Centre, delivering a range of activities  including basketball, boccia, seated exercise, dodgeball and New Age Kurling to individuals living with a wide range of conditions including dementia, learning disabilities, mental health issues and physical impairments.

Chris Yearley, General Manager at Moberly Leisure Centre, says: “An active lifestyle can have a profoundly positive effect on everyone’s mental, social and physical health. Introducing the Sport For Confidence programme has enabled us to extend our reach to new segments of the community, offering additional support to  those who will most benefit from our services. I look forward to working with the team over the coming months to grow participation and extend the number of activities on offer.”

People with a disability are half as likely to be active as the rest of the population. Sport For Confidence is proving that, given the right environment and support, people with a disability will engage and the benefits extend way beyond the field of play. An independent study by an Occupational Therapist concluded that programme participants reap life changing benefits including: Increased independence in daily tasks, heightened awareness of self and health issues, teamwork, self-expression, enhanced decision-making, communication skills, reduced dependency and improved self-confidence.

Garratt adds: “We are now supporting more than 90 individuals at Moberly Leisure Centre. As numbers grow, so too will the number of sessions and activities on offer.

“Recently, we added Swim For Confidence. For many people, getting in and out of the water is not the main barrier to participation, Our sessions are designed to support anybody who appreciates a little extra support when in the water, from dementia sufferers to those with learning disabilities or mobility issues. It also encourages carers and family members to enter the water, creating a bonding and social experience for all, enhancing fun and enjoyment.”

Sessions will be timetabled at Seymour Leisure Centre from week commencing November 6, 2019. Sport For Confidence is now running programmes at 11 leisure centres across Essex and London