Places for People Partners with Fit For Sport to Deliver Family Activity Programme

Places for People has successfully partnered with children’s activity provider Fit For Sport to help the company deliver its Engage To Compete children’s activity programme in the Sandwell area by offering access to its West Bromwich Leisure Centre site.

Engage To Compete aims to boost levels of physical activity and competition among young children and 5477 children in 22 Sandwell primary schools took part in the successful pilot project.

The programme operates within schools by training staff to maximise playground activity time.  Key to its success is wider support within the community by engaging with local families alongside parents of the participating schools to encourage a broader awareness of the importance of activity and access to facilities to enable youngsters and their families to be more active.

West Bromwich Leisure Centre supported the project in several ways: it hosted the initial schools’ introduction to Engage to Compete in January and pledged its support to the Sandwell project.  On April 16th it hosted a school staff training day and on May 30th opened its doors for a free family fun day for the local community.  Young families were invited to take the Fit For Sport Activity Challenge comprising throwing, catching, running and jumping activities.  In addition to this, West Bromwich Leisure Centre offered additional activities including free swimming, face painting, bouncy castle sessions and soft play alongside taster activities to inspire local youngsters.

Glen Staite-Loveridge, Places for People Leisure Junior Activities Manager comments: ““We have been delighted with the success of the Engage to Compete project with Fit for Sport so far during our pilot run. It’s captured the imaginations of our younger audience and it’s been fantastic to see parents and siblings coming together. The design of the programme complements our ethos as a social enterprise perfectly as we aim to encourage awareness for the need of physical exercise and activity across all ages within the local communities we serve.”

On June 23rd, West Bromwich Leisure Centre hosted a Legacy Games Day for several of the schools on the Engage to Compete programme enabling local schools to come together, celebrate their success and show their new-found skills learned on the programme.  Around 500 children had a highly motivating and memorable day taking part in a range of activities including some fun races and inter-school relay. 

“We have been delighted with the support from Places For People by allowing us access to West Bromwich Leisure Centre,” says Dean Horridge, Fit For Sport founder and CEO. “This has helped us reach many kids and families in the area over and above those at the 22 local schools following Engage To Compete,” he explains. “Our partnership with Places For People is a key part of our programme to fulfil our aims to reach out across the Sandwell community: not only have they helped on the specific training and activity days but their ongoing support will ensure opportunities for local children for many years to come.”

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