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Free Festival of Sport at Hornchurch Sports Centre

PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 December 2019

Hornchurch Sport Centre is holding a free Festival of Sport on December 18 (pic Julian Cornish-Trestrail)

Hornchurch Sport Centre is holding a free Festival of Sport on December 18 (pic Julian Cornish-Trestrail)

Julian Cornish-Trestrail

Hornchurch Sports Centre will host a free to attend Festival of Sport on Wednesday.

Hornchurch Sport Centre is holding a free Festival of Sport on December 18Hornchurch Sport Centre is holding a free Festival of Sport on December 18

The event, put on by social enterprise Sport For Confidence, will offer a range of sports and is designed to engage individuals who face barriers to participation, such as those with learning disabilities, dementia, mental health and physical disabilities.

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

"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."

Hornchurch Sport Centre is holding a free Festival of Sport on December 18 (pic Julian Cornish-Trestrail)Hornchurch Sport Centre is holding a free Festival of Sport on December 18 (pic Julian Cornish-Trestrail)

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 several other leisure venues across Essex and London, collectively welcoming more than 2,000 participants per month.

"From January, Sport For Confidence will be hosting weekly sports sessions at Hornchurch Sport Centre," added Garratt.

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"Working in close partnership with leisure centre management company, Everyone Active, we will collaborate with many other support and delivery service providers in the area to encourage participation from individuals with physical impairments, learning disabilities and an array of mental health and social issues.

"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."

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.

The scheme adopts a person-centred, whole-system approach, placing an Allied Health Professional alongside a sports coach to deliver physical activity sessions designed to bring bespoke, life-changing, occupational outcomes to each and every participant.

Funding for the programme has been granted by the "Big Lottery fund" and is fully 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."

Garratt said: "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. At Hornchurch Sports Centre, from January 2020 we will offer three boccia, football and multisports.

"As we attract more participants we will add new activities which best suit the participants involved."

For more information about The Festival of Sport visit sportforconfidence.com or for specific information about the programme at Hornchurch Sports Centre launching in January 2020, email sophie@sportforconfidence.com.

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