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Social enterprise hopes to boost sport engagement with free Hornchurch festival

PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 December 2019

Sport for Confidence works with leisure centres in Braintree and Waltham Forest. Picture: Julian Cornish-Trestrail

Sport for Confidence works with leisure centres in Braintree and Waltham Forest. Picture: Julian Cornish-Trestrail

Julian Cornish-Trestrail

A social enterprise that aims to make physical activity and sport accessible to all is hosting a free sports event in Hornchurch next week.

Sport for Confidence works with leisure centres in Braintree and Waltham Forest. Picture: Julian Cornish-TrestrailSport for Confidence works with leisure centres in Braintree and Waltham Forest. Picture: Julian Cornish-Trestrail

Sport For Confidence has announced a free Festival of Sport on Wednesday, December 18 from 1pm to 3pm at the Hornchurch Sports Centre in Hornchurch Road.

The event is designed to engage individuals who face barriers to participation in sport such as those with learning disabilities, dementia, mental health and physical disabilities.

From January, Sport For Confidence will be hosting a weekly sports session at the centre in Harrow Lodge Park.

Sophie Garratt, occupational therapist at Sport For Confidence, said: "The Festival of Sport will provide an opportunity for individuals, their family and carers, to get a taste of what Sport For Confidence offers.

"On the day we will be offering boccia, indoor football and multisports.

"Everyone is welcome. The emphasis will be on fun and friendship rather than performance and competition.

"No previous sporting experience is necessary, we just want individuals to come along, enjoy themselves and meet the Sport For Confidence team."

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The enterprise places specialist health professionals alongside sports coaches to deliver a wide range of sports and physical activities.

"Working in close partnership with Everyone Active, we will collaborate with many other support and delivery service providers in the area to encourage participation from individuals with an array of mental health and social issues," said Sophie.

"We believe physical activity and sport should be accessible to all.

"Our programme embraces all walks of life and delivers many positive physical, mental and social benefits which extend way beyond the field of play."

Funding for the programme has been granted by the Big Lottery Fund and it is supported by Everyone Active.

Tom Fletcher, contract manager at Everyone Active, added: "Everybody has the right to lead an active lifestyle and Hornchurch Sports Centre has a responsibility to cater for all segments of the community.

"By introducing Sport For Confidence, we hope to welcome many new faces to our leisure services."

The social enterprise works at many other leisure centres across London and Essex including Braintree and Waltham Forest.

Visit sportforconfidence.com to find out more about the festival.

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