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Adults experiencing mental health issues have been invited to attend free weekly sports-based activity sessions delivered by Ignite Sport UK in partnership with Sport in Mind.
Hosted at the Iffley Road Sports Centre in Cowley each Friday between 11am and midday, the sessions are open to adults aged 18 and above of all playing abilities. No pre-booking is required, participants can wear clothing they feel most
comfortable in and family, friends and carers are welcome to join in the fun too.
Activities including football, tennis and archery help participants develop key life skills including communication, teamwork and listening and form new friendships.
Ignite Sport UK coach Andy Francis, who leads the sessions, said people of all backgrounds and ages are welcome to attend.
“Sport is an incredible asset in boosting our mental wellbeing,” said Andy. “It allows us to connect with likeminded people, be physically active, learn new skills, help others and pay attention to the present moment without distraction.
“Our Iffley Road Sports Centre sessions are growing in popularity by the week and provide people living with mental health problems a break from the pressures and anxieties they experience.
“We’re a friendly team who prioritises player enjoyment and support in our sessions. We’d like to thank Sport in Mind for allowing us to deliver our activities and look forward to welcoming more people through the summer.”
Formed in Reading, Berkshire, in 2010, Sport in Mind aims to improve the lives of people experiencing mental health problems through sport and physical activity.
The charity has supported the recovery of more than 12,500 people from all backgrounds – some of whom never enjoyed taking part in sport prior to their involvement with Sport in Mind.
Liz McElroy, Development Officer at Sport in Mind, added: “After more than a year of uncertainty, it’s brilliant to finally see people playing sport again and benefitting their mental health. We understand it can be extremely daunting for
people to attend a new group by themselves.
“It’s why all Ignite Sport UK activities are open to friends, family and carers plus the sessions are long-term, so people have time to engage with others knowing we’ll be back the week after.
“Our partnership with Ignite Sport UK extends way before the pandemic. Their coaches are perfect for our needs – enthusiastic, empathetic, reliable and most importantly love what they do.
“Their enthusiasm makes the sessions inclusive, meaning everyone has a great time.”
People interested in attending one of Ignite Sport UK’s free Iffley Road Sports Centre sessions are not required to register or pre-book. However, further information can be found by visiting: www.ignitesportuk.com.
Based in Marston, Oxford, Ignite Sport UK is a registered training provider specialising in the provision of sports-based apprenticeships and sport delivery across the UK.