Free fun outdoor fitness for young people all summer!

Published Friday, 24th June 2016

Park Lives logo

Southend young people can look forward to a summer of free weekly outdoor activities, thanks to Coca-Cola Great Britain’s national ParkLives programme.

The borough was one of the few authorities across the country to win the £1,000 funding to host this acclaimed scheme.

As a result Coca-Cola Great Britain, doorstep sports charity, StreetGames and the Council have teamed up together to encourage 14 to 25 year olds of all abilities, to get outdoors, get fit, discover Southend’s local parks, meet new people and flourish.

Led by the Council’s Sport and Leisure Team, experienced instructors from community sport and physical activity organisations will deliver a whole range of activities in Priory and Chalkwell parks from July until October.

These free, fun, informal sessions will include Street basketball, Parkour (Freerunning) and Rounders.

The 16-week programme will be launched in Chalkwell Park on Friday 1st July from 5pm until 7pm, with young people, ParkLives representatives and instructors.

Young people from across the town are invited to come along with their friends, join in the fun and sign up for vibrant and varied sporting activities free on their doorstep.

There are also exciting rewards and incentives on offer – the more activities you do, the more rewards you earn!

Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism and the Economy, Councillor Ann Holland, said: “It is a real coup for Southend that we are among very few boroughs to be granted this funding through such a large organisation as Coca-Cola Great Britain and their long-standing charity partner StreetGames.

“Our success in winning this bid is certainly testimony to the fantastic work we already do to encourage young people - particularly in the more deprived areas of Southend - to lead more active and healthier lifestyles.

“With the support of ParkLives, we can keep highlighting the importance of our wonderful parks.

They are free, easily accessible, social hubs of activity for young people.

“The sessions will really help tackle some of the barriers which people say can discourage them from taking part in physical activity such as: cost, distance, lack of suitable and engaging provision and lack of others to join in with.”

Liz Lowe, Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Great Britain said: “We’re delighted to be extending our partnership with StreetGames and look forward to working together to provide even more opportunities for young people across the UK to enjoy activities and sports in their local community. We have a long heritage of bringing people together and supporting local communities and grassroots organisations and our new partnership builds on that.

“The charity works for social good in the communities that need it most, and the StreetGames network will be vital in extending the ParkLives programme to reach thousands more people nationwide.”

Jane Ashworth, Chief Executive of StreetGames, said: “Through our partnership with Coca-Cola Great Britain we’ve been able to bring sporting opportunities to 165,000 young people across the UK. It’s also helped us to give young people once in a lifetime opportunities – from working at the London 2012 Olympic Games to leading out the England team at the FIFA™ World Cup.

“Our approach has always been about taking sport and physical activity right to the doorsteps of young people in disadvantaged communities. Local parks provide the perfect place to get young people together - not only is the activity free but it’s in a familiar environment.

“We are looking forward to continuing to work together through ParkLives to have a positive impact on disadvantaged neighbourhoods and motivate more young people to live active lifestyles.”

For the full ParkLives Southend timetable, please visit: www.southend.gov.uk/ParkLives or www.parklives.com.

To book places for sessions, please contact the Council’s Sport and Leisure Team on 01702 212057 or email: kirstyhorseman@southend.gov.uk.

Please note: the attached timetable is subject to change. Please check the ParkLives website for up to date times and information for activities in Southend search for ActiveSouthend on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @activesouthend #ParkLives