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Subsidised sport to tempt inactive youngsters

Two new projects have been unveiled in Waltham Forest to encourage more young people to get active and play sport.

'Back in the Game’ features free sport sessions, running in six week blocks, between October and December this year. Organised by the Council, with funding from London Sport, it is designed to help inactive young people aged 19-25 try a new sport or get back into sport.

The initiative boasts sessions in 10 different sports including tennis, boxing, ladies football and basketball, and judo – and all are completely free.

This month also saw the launch of ‘Better 16-25’, a new project aimed at getting 16-25 year olds more active. A joint initiative between London Sport, Better and the Council, it is formed of two stages and ultimately rewards participants with a significantly reduced leisure centre membership offer.

Stage one sees young people sign up to take part in eight free activities within the Council’s leisure centres, which are run by Better. There are two gym sessions, two swims, two group exercise classes and two racket sport sessions.

Stage two then invites them to attend one of each of the four above activities at the heavily subsidised rate of just £2. And, once a young person has completed 10 weeks of activity they would be eligible for significantly reduced membership at all Better venues in Waltham Forest to help them maintain an active lifestyle.

Cllr Ahsan Khan, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We know that the cost of leisure centre membership can be a barrier to some people who are looking for ways to become more active, especially teenagers.

“Hopefully the reduced rates offered through the Better 16-25 initiative will give young people an affordable route into making lifestyle changes that could help them become healthier and happier.

“If that wasn’t enough, the sporting opportunities featured in Back in the Game are completely free – so young adults wanting to try out a new physical activity or return to sport have plenty of options to choose from.”

Waltham Forest Council continues to provide free swimming for under 18s at its three pools in Leytonstone, Leyton and Chingford.

And, residents of any age can take part in Our Parks without having to pay a penny. Funded by the Council, Our Parks is the name given to group activity sessions that take place in the borough’s parks and open spaces – and inside some local venues during the winter months.

To find out more about Better 16-25 visit or email Simon Hemmings on Simon.Hemmings@GLL.ORG.

You can pick up the Back in the Game brochure at colleges, leisure centres and libraries or download it by visiting

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