ParkLives Southend nominated for national award

Published Monday, 26th February 2018

Figures actively playing sports in a Park

A popular sports activity programme which is led by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has been nominated for a national award.

ParkLives Southend, a programme in partnership with Coca-Cola Great Britain and StreetGames, offers 8–25-year-olds and their families the opportunity to participate in free sporting activities taught by experienced instructors, with different sessions including street basketball, parkour, dodgeball and rounders. The programme has been nominated for Project of the Year ‘Coca Cola GB with ParkLives Award’ at the annual StreetGames National Awards, which take place on Tuesday 20 March.

The Council successfully bid for the maximum grant offer of £1,000 per year to run two 16-week programmes over the course of a two-year agreement, which welcomed more than 600 participants from a number of different backgrounds, bringing together families, creating friendships and developing skills.

Cllr Ann Holland, Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism and the Economy, said: “It is a real coup for Southend-on-Sea to have this popular community programme recognised for the impact and opportunities it has given local people to enjoy their local parks.

“The Council’s Sport and Leisure team has done exceptionally well in maximising the use of the £2,000 grant money and has certainly provided a jam-packed programme on a small budget, so thanks must go to all the local partners such as Southend Parkour, Urban Education and Southend School Sports Partnership, who have supported this programme and made it possible to run it with limited funds.

“It’s been brilliant to see ParkLives Southend go from strength to strength. This really is testament to the fantastic team of local session leaders and volunteers helping people to try new activities, make new friends and discover the wonderful green spaces they have on their doorstep.

“Our long-term aspiration is to keep highlighting the importance of our beautiful Green Flag parks and getting as many young people and families using them. They are free, easily accessible and social hubs of activity which can help keep communities active and healthy.”

Helen Crowley, Head of Programmes at StreetGames, said: "The Coca-Cola Great Britain with StreetGames ParkLives programme has been a fantastic initiative to get more young people and their families active in parks and public spaces.

"Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has embraced this opportunity with particular passion and run many engaging sessions, in all-weather types and for all people.  Their work has successfully broken down barriers and contributed to a greater sense of togetherness within their local community.

“StreetGames is proud to welcome the project to its upcoming National Awards, and would like to congratulate all involved for their sterling work. We wish them the very best of luck at this year’s event.”

The Council are currently exploring the possibility of applying for a third year of funding, however they are also looking for local businesses to support and sponsor the event. If you know of any local businesses that may be interested, please contact the Council’s Sport and Leisure team on 01702 212057 or email the Get Active team.