Dozens get back into sport after council offer.

SINCE February Thurrock Council in Partnership with Barking and Dagenham have been delivering the Active Sport 4 Life Programme.

Already 40 Thurrock residents have taken up the opportunity to get back into sports free of charge at venues across the borough, but organisers are looking for more.

The Active Sport4Life programme is offered free to residents of both boroughs who meet the eligibility criteria; which includes being over 14 years old, being overweight, and not currently taking part in regular exercise.

GPs can also refer patients who suffer from low self-esteem, stress or anxiety, loneliness or depression to the programme.

Funded by Sport England, the programme will include an initial health assessment, with regular review meetings; 12 weeks of free sports sessions with a qualified coach in a chosen sport; a dedicated personal programme to meet individual needs; and a chance to continue participation with local clubs for a further nine months with subsidised membership and fees.

Cllr Steve Liddiard, Thurrock Council’s sports champion, said: “People can try a variety of sports, including, rugby, dance, swimming, athletics and cycling – and they can do so in either borough, irrespective of which borough they live in.

“Obesity and inactivity are major problems for people in Thurrock and Barking and Dagenham and Active Sport4Life is a simple way for people to find a fun and affordable way of improving their lives.”

Taking up sport can be a great way to improve fitness; it can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease; help with weight loss; reduce stress and anxiety; and control blood sugar levels; as well as improve the quality of life and overall health.

Although the programme is designed to improve health and fitness, all activities are inclusive and suitable for all abilities, even those who have never participated in sport before.

For more information visit the Thurrock Council website thurrock.gov.uk and follow the links to Leisure and then Sport, or to register for the programme contact Mark Berry, Active Sport 4 Life co-ordinator, on 020 8227 3036.

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