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Active Nottingham leisure centre awarded top marks on ‘Quest’ for excellence

Active Nottingham’s Ken Martin Leisure Centre has been awarded ‘Excellent’ for its facilities and services, recognising high quality within UK Sport and Leisure.

It joins Djanogly Community Leisure Centre at the top of the rankings for 2022 – another site run by Active Nottingham, part of Nottingham City Council.

An industry standard developed by the UK Sports Council, Quest assessors look at a range of factors including operational management and approaches to engaging with customers through to community outcomes. Taking place over a two-day on-site assessment and a mystery shopper visit, the overall process ensures a thorough review takes place and provides assurances a quality service is being provided to residents.

Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis, said: “I’m thrilled Ken Martin Leisure Centre has been awarded ‘Excellent’ for its performance and management on the latest Quest Assessment. This is a testament to the incredible work and dedication of our front-line staff delivering best practice and the highest industry standard for the benefit of Nottingham residents using the centre.”

Ken Martin Leisure Centre General Manager, Kirsty Worthington, said: “Thank you to everyone at Ken Martin Leisure Centre and the wider Sport and Leisure teams for their assistance and support during the Quest preparation as well as the recent two-day assessment. It’s brilliant news for us all that we were rated as ‘Excellent’ as it highlights the hard work that is put into Ken Martin Leisure Centre. The hard work does not stop here, we will continue to assess, reflect and progress the site and the services we offer to Nottingham residents and customers. Great job everyone!”.

Ken Martin Leisure Centre has been externally assessed and achieved Quest Plus - Excellent. This certificate expires in July 2024. Image includes Quest logo, Sport England Logo.

For more information about Quest, visit: https://www.questaward.org/ 

Active Nottingham operates six leisure centres across the city of Nottingham: Clifton Leisure Centre, Djanogly Community Leisure Centre, Harvey Hadden Sports Village, Ken Martin Leisure Centre, Southglade Leisure Centre, and Victoria Leisure Centre.

Visit www.activenottingham.com for more information or to find your nearest centre

Take a virtual tour of Active Nottingham without leaving your house!

A NEW virtual tour promoting the facilities of six leisure centres in Nottingham has been launched by Active Nottingham, part of Nottingham City Council.

The online tool not only allows users to see inside each Active Nottingham leisure centre but also view spaces from 360-degree angles. During the tour, potential members can gain virtual access to the facilities and visit each building from the comfort of their mobile device or computer.

Virtual Tour Image - Harvey Hadden Sports Village Gym

Active Nottingham is much more than just a ‘gym’ with indoor swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms and a range of exercise classes, there is something for everyone and the new virtual tour allows potential members to explore the layout and details prior to arrival.

Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis, said:

“I’m delighted Active Nottingham have launched their virtual tours, especially as they provide flexibility for potential members as well as those who may not be comfortable with having an in-person tour and want the freedom to view the leisure centres at their leisure.

“The tours also offer valuable information for service users wanting to understand access arrangements, where the changing rooms are, where specific rooms are for classes etc.

“Nottingham residents will benefit greatly from these tours and I hope they will inspire more people to get active.”

For more information and to view the new Active Nottingham Nottingham virtual tours, visit https://www.activenottingham.com/virtual-tour/

In-person tours are still available and can be booked by visiting www.activenottingham.com/enquire

Virtual Tour Image - Victoria Leisure Centre Swimming Pool

Can this brown gal swim? The final day!

It’s the final day of Summaya’s challenge and the Brown Gal Can’t Swim podcast and if you’ve stuck with us this far, you’ll have heard Summaya talking about why she is learning to swim at 27, changing rooms within swimming facilities, modesty and swimwear, plus why you should learn to swim given the apparent dangers with water.

Summaya stands in the swimming pool with water, looking up and talking to swimming teacher Victoria (who is stood at the side of the swimming pool)

Summaya (in water) and Nottingham Swim School Teacher, Victoria (right)

Spoiler Alert!

Now, if you’ve not listened to the final day of the podcast series, then below are some spoilers!

Let’s rewind to a cold, wet and windy day in Nottingham and a team of supporters (plus some open water swimmers) headed to Spring Lakes to watch Summaya take on her final task – a 500m open water swim.

Spring Lakes

Spring Lakes

Summaya is putting on a brave face as she mentally prepares for the swim and kindly snaps some images with our team and is interviewed by the BBC. She’s compiled a Brown Gal Can’t Swim playlist for everyone to listen to as she counts down the time before she gets into the cold lake.

As it nears 4 pm, the nerves are kicking in – it is a miserable day weather-wise, she’s paranoid about the swans and ducks plus a lot of emotions are racing through her mind – however, her swim coaches are here (Nottingham Swim School teacher Victoria Charles and Her Spirit’s Mel Berry), plus Olympian Alice Dearing providing words of calm, encouragement and advice as she prepares to get into the water. As she pops back into the changing room for a pep talk with her brother, she decides she needs a moment alone, saying: “(I’m) feeling really nervous….I’ve got butterflies….but I’m feeling ready – let’s do this”.

Right before she gets in the water, she listens to Ella Henderson’s Ghost to help calm her.

Summaya, wearing her wetsuit, floation device and headphones, being interviewed by the BBC

Summaya, listening to Ella Henderson Ghost.

The time is now 4:15 pm and Summaya begins her swim, taking it in her stride, like a duck to water! She swims the first 200m using a variety of strokes and is looking strong, but then stops and it looks as though she might be struggling….. But after a few words of encouragement and advice from the boat (with one of her coaches, Mel Berry, who is following), she powers on.

All the while Summaya is in the water, there are groups of swimmers also in the lake. They join her for the last push – providing an open water swim supporter group! Everyone is on the bank cheering and shouting to Summaya for the home stretch and the sound is deafening!

Summaya is being interviewed by the BBC and a camera crew stands in front of her as she emerges from the lake

Summaya, emerging victorious from Spring Lakes

At 4:39 pm, 24 minutes after she started the swim Summaya has done it! Summaya has swam 500m in open water after only learning how to swim 8 weeks ago – what an amazing achievement.

As she leaves the water, she tells the crowd (who have now gathered) “That felt like a lot. It was really really hard….eight weeks ago I literally couldn’t swim and today I’ve managed to do 500m in open water. If I can do it, and I could not swim at all, then anyone can do it! no matter how embarrassed you might feel about not having a (swimming) skill, it could save your life. with the right support and the right people around you, you can make it happen”.

Summaya, just finished the 500m open water swim, stands with her coat on, looking up and chatting to Rob Green

Summaya and Rob Green

Can this Brown Gal Swim? She sure can and she did an incredible job! To listen to the Brown Gal Can’t Swim series in full, click here.


Get Out Get Active Nottingham has been honoured to work alongside Active Nottingham in supporting Summaya Mughal’s Brown Gal Can’t Swim campaign. The values of the project of supporting more people to be more active and overcoming the barriers faced to being active perfectly aligns with the campaign’s ambitions to address the lack of South Asian and other ethnic minority swimmers in our pools across the country.

Swimming is a fantastic activity for people of all ages and all abilities, including people with disabilities and long-term health conditions, that has multiple benefits both for our physical and mental wellbeing. However, for many who have never learnt to swim, or who have anxieties about accessing a pool, it can feel really overwhelming and can prevent people not only from accessing swimming pools but also from gaining the vital life skill of swimming and being safe in the water.

Through the GOGA project, we have worked on a number of swimming initiatives such as the development of our Swim for Health programme across the six Active Nottingham pools which provides a public swim in a quieter setting with the support of flotation aids within the pool and other supportive equipment such as gradual steps.

However we know that often the biggest barrier can often be overcoming the mental and emotional barriers and that’s why we are so inspired by the work of Summaya and her Brown Gal Can’t Swim campaign and it’s endeavour to break down the stigma around learning to swim or accessing support to enjoy swimming and we are proud to have been a partner, alongside Active Nottingham, in this work.

Well done Summaya!

Summaya, pictured left, and Claudia (Get Out Get Active Nottingham) pictured right after the 500m open water swim

Summaya (left) and Claudia from Get Out Get Active Nottingham (right) celebrating the 500m swim


If you’ve been inspired to take up swimming, get in touch with Nottingham Swim School today and see how we can help you on your own swim journey.

October Half Term holiday activities

Need some entertainment during the school holidays this October?

We have lots of fun activities on offer across our Active Nottingham leisure centres. See below what is happening:

Clifton Leisure Centre: 17-28 October 2022

Swimming

Pre-booking is required for both the Swim for Fun and Swim for Fun with Flume sessions. Bookings can be made up to 7 days in advance via the Active Nottingham app or here. Timings are subject to change without prior notice. Please ensure you check the Active Nottingham app or timetable in advance for the most up-to-date timings.

Little Treasures Soft Play

A two-story play frame packed full of challenges for your child. Pirates and princesses can explore the Octopus lair and the fun hanging features of the biff snakes – a unique and challenging under-the-sea adventure. Suitable for toddlers as well as children, with different designated areas to keep everyone on the hunt for treasure!

Little Treasures is open Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm and weekends from 9am – 3pm.

Pre-booking is required. Bookings can be made up to 7 days in advance via the Active Nottingham app or here. Timings are subject to change without prior notice. Please ensure you check the Active Nottingham app or timetable in advance for the most up-to-date timings.

Birthday Parties

Don’t forget, Clifton has recently upgraded its party room to make your child’s birthday extra special. They have a range of children’s party packages available, perfect for any celebrations you might be having.


Ken Martin Leisure Centre: 

Pool Parties

Join us by the pool this half-term and dream of sunnier climates. Come along to Ken Martin and enjoy music by the pool and splash about with our inflatables.

When are the pool parties? Every weekday during the October half-term – 17 – 28 October 2022. Session times:

Swimming: Tuesday 18 to Friday 28 October 2022

Pre-booking is required for both the pool party and Swim for Fun sessions. Bookings can be made up to 7 days in advance via the Active Nottingham app or here. So grab your swimming clothes, get booking and we’ll see you by the pool. Timings are subject to change without prior notice. Please ensure you check the Active Nottingham app or timetable in advance for the most up-to-date timings.


Harvey Hadden Sports Village: 17 – 28 October 2022

Pool Parties

Join us by the pool this October Half Term with friends and family and splash about with our pool inflatables.

When are the pool parties? Monday to Friday, between 17 and 28 October. Session times:

Week commencing 17 October 2022:

Monday 17 October
Pool depth - 1.24m
Tuesday 18 October
Pool depth - 0.96m
Wednesday 19 October
Pool depth - 0.96m
Thursday 20 October
Pool depth - 1.24m
Friday 21 October
Pool depth - 1.24m
1.15-2.15pm1.30-2.30pm1.30-2.30pm1.15-2.15pm9.30-10.30am
2.30-3.30pm2.30-3.30pm2.30-3.30pm2.30-3.30pm10.30-11.30am
11.30-12.30pm
1-2pm
2-3pm

Week commencing 24 October 2022:

Monday 24 October
Pool depth - 1.24m
Tuesday 25 October
Pool depth - 0.96m
Wednesday 26 October
Pool depth - 0.96m
Thursday 27 October
Pool depth - 1.24m
Friday 28 October
Pool depth - 1.24m
9.30-10.30am1.30-2.30pm1.30-2.30pm1.15-2.15pm9.30-10.30am
10.30-11.30am2.30-3.30pm2.30-3.30pm2.30-3.30pm10.30-11.30am
11.30-12.30pm11.30-12.30pm
1-2pm1-2pm
2-3pm2-3pm

Rollerblading

Rollerblading is a fun activity for both children and adults to enjoy. Over time it will help to develop agility, balance, coordination and speed. Rollerblades and safety equipment will be provided – but feel free to bring your own rollerblades if you have them!

Currently available at Harvey Hadden Sports Village, Cycle Circuit every Tuesday.

Pre-booking is required for all pool parties and rollerblading sessions. Bookings can be made up to 7 days in advance via the Active Nottingham app or here. Timings are subject to change without prior notice. Please ensure you check the Active Nottingham app or timetable in advance for the most up-to-date timings.


Southglade Leisure Centre: 17 – 28 October 2022

Hunter the giant inflatable is floating in the pool at Southglade Leisure Centre

Pool Parties

Join us by the pool this October half-term with friends and family and splash about with our inflatables.

When are the pool parties? Every Tuesday and Thursday, between 17 and 28 October. Session times:

Pre-booking is required. Bookings can be made up to 7 days in advance. Timings are subject to change without prior notice. Please ensure you check the Active Nottingham app or timetable in advance for the most up-to-date timings.

Swim for Fun with Flume

A great way to work on your swimming skills whilst enjoying our great flume ride! (Height restrictions apply – 1.2meters minimum, single riders only).

When are the Swim for Fun with Flume sessions? Session times are listed below, including Pool Party times:

Monday 17 & 24 OctoberTuesday 18 & 25 OctoberWednesday 19 & 26 OctoberThursday 20 & 27 October Friday 21 & 28 October
1.15-2.15pm
Swim for Fun with Flume
10.30-11.30am
Swim for Fun with Flume
10.30-11.30am
Swim for Fun with Flume
1.15-2.15pm
Pool Party
1.15-2.15pm
Swim for Fun with Flume
2.30-3.30pm
Swim for Fun with Flume
1.15-2.15pm
Pool Party
1.15-2.15pm
Swim for Fun with Flume
2.30-3.30pm
Pool Party
2.30-3.30pm
Swim for Fun with Flume
2.30-3.30pm
Pool Party
2.30-3.30pm
Swim for Fun with Flume

Pre-booking is required. Bookings can be made up to 7 days in advance. Timings are subject to change without prior notice. Please ensure you check the Active Nottingham app or timetable in advance for the most up-to-date timings.


Victoria Leisure Centre: 17 – 28 October 2022

Join friends and family at Victoria Leisure Centre this October Half Term with their Swim for Fun sessions.

Monday 17 & 24 OctoberTuesday 18 & 25 OctoberWednesday 19 & 26 OctoberFriday 28 October
12.15-1.15pm
Swim for Fun (small pool)
1.30-2.30pm
Swim for Fun (main pool)
9.30-10.30am
Swim for Fun (small pool)
10-11am
Swim for Fun (small pool)
1.30-2.30pm
Swim for Fun (main pool)

Pre-booking is required. Bookings can be made up to 7 days in advance. Timings are subject to change without prior notice. Please ensure you check the Active Nottingham app or timetable in advance for the most up-to-date timings.


Djanogly Community Leisure Centre: 17 – 30 October 2022

Join friends and family at Djanogly Community Leisure Centre this October Half Term for their Swim for Fun, Swim for All and Splash About sessions.

Mondays 17 & 24 OctoberTuesday 18 & 25 OctoberWednesday 19 & 26 OctoberThursday 20 & 27 OctoberFriday 21 & 28 October Saturday 22 & 29 OctoberSunday 23 & 30 October
10-11am,
2.30-3.15pm
Swim for All
8.15-9am,
10-10.45am,
2.30-3.15pm,
4.15-5pm
Swim for All
1.30-2.15pm
Swim for Fun
1.30-2.15pm
Swim for Fun
8.15-9am,
2.30-3.15pm,
6-7pm
Swim for All
2.15-3pm
Swim for Fun
1-1.45pm
Swim for Fun
1.30-2.15pm
Swim for Fun
11-11.45am,
1.30-2.15pm
Swim for Fun
2.30-3.15pm
Swim for All
8.15-9.15am,
2.30-3.15pm,
5.45-6.45pm,
Swim for All
1.30-2.15pm
Swim for Fun
3-3.45pm
Swim for All
2-2.45pm
Swim for All
10-10.45am
Splash About

Pre-booking is required. Bookings can be made up to 7 days in advance. Timings are subject to change without prior notice. Please ensure you check the Active Nottingham app or timetable in advance for the most up-to-date timings.


Booking and times:

For Little Treasures, please visit Clifton Leisure Centre or call 0115 876 1600 to book.

*Activities per site may vary and are subject to availability. Pre-booking required. Timings are subject to change without prior notice. Please ensure you check the Active Nottingham app or timetable in advance for the most up-to-date timings.

Brown Gal Can’t Swim: City Council helps BBC presenter to get South Asian women swimming

Summaya Mughal (left) and Alice Dearing (right). Image: Charlie Firth

Nottingham-born BBC presenter Summaya Mughal has been learning to swim at Active Nottingham pools in a bid to encourage other South Asian women to take the plunge.

Active Nottingham, part of Nottingham City Council, has supported her during her journey which she starts sharing on air this week. Her five-part series looks into learning to swim at the age of 27 and explores why many South Asian women are less likely to swim.

In revealing that she couldn’t swim, Summaya exposed the cultural barriers that she faced and how it has affected her both physically and mentally. As part of this journey, Summaya has given other members of the South Asian community the confidence to take their first steps into swimming.

As a result of her campaign, Summaya was honoured at the Nottingham Awards 2022 last week for her work in the Voluntary and Community Sector. Meanwhile, Active Nottingham, Nottingham Swim School and the council’s school swimming department have been honoured at the recent Swim England Teaching and Education Awards.

The series titled ‘Brown Gal Can’t Swim’ sees Summaya learn to swim in just eight weeks at Active Nottingham swimming pools, supported by Nottingham Swim School swimming teacher Victoria Charles. Olympians Rebecca Adlington and Alice Dearing also provide support and guidance and set Summaya additional challenges including a 500m open water swim – will she do it? You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out.

Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis, said: “We’re thrilled to be a part of this project with Summaya and the BBC to help raise awareness and showcase the importance of learning to swim within South Asian communities. This campaign will go a long way to help break down barriers that people face when it comes to swimwear, changing rooms, and going swimming itself and help get more communities involved in swimming.

“Active Nottingham and Nottingham Swim School are proud to have helped Summaya learn to swim over the past eight weeks and it was great to see her face the 500m open water challenge at Spring Lakes.

“Summaya has also worked with the black swimming association to challenge the lack of representation of black and Asian people in both recreational and elite swimming – she also engaged with Olympic swimmers Becky Adlington and Alice Dearing in her campaign, who both set her challenges for Summaya to complete.

Her work with diverse communities is second to none, both engaging as well as empowering!”

The Brown Gal Can’t Swim podcast is available on BBC Sounds: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/series/p0ctzgft It will also be broadcast as a series on BBC East Midlands Today from Tuesday 11 October 2022.

Summaya at Southglade Leisure Centre. Image: Charlie Firth 

Is there a better time of day to work out?


Are you a morning or evening person? Some people find it easier to exercise in the morning as their energy levels are at their highest, others prefer to wait until the evening as it fits better with their daily life.The time of day we choose to workout will depend on many things – ultimately it needs to fit in with everything in our lives. It needs to fit around work, studies, family and other commitments. We also need to choose times best suited to our bodies and our natural energy levels. The best time to exercise is down to us, working out whenever we can and being consistent.There are some benefits to exercising at certain times of the day, take a look below.

Morning workouts:

Important: if exercising in the morning don’t forget to sufficiently warm up. Your muscles and joints tend to be “colder” when you have just woken up and are more prone to injury.

Afternoon/evening workouts:

Regardless of the time of day we exercise, it is still very important to ensure we warm up sufficiently.

Try to find a time to work out that suits your lifestyle – taking all aspects into consideration – but most importantly, a time that you will consistently be able to stick with in the long run.

Man doing press up with kettle bells in a gym

Staying Motivated

Have you ever started a fitness regime and then quit? If you answered yes, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people start fitness and wellness programmes but stop when they get bored, aren’t enjoying it or don’t see the results as quickly as they’d hoped. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated.

If you ever feel your motivation slipping, review these tips to remind yourself of the ‘why’.

#BeExceptional and let us help you stay motivated. At Active Nottingham you have access to 6 gyms, 6 pools, 6 health suites and over 300 fitness classes. Find out more about our memberships here.

Claire Henson Blog – Stay Safe, Stay Active, Start Small

Claire Henson

“Hello! I hope you are all keeping safe and well. Let me introduce myself, my name is Claire and I am a Mental Health First Aid England Instructor, founder of The Mind Map project and The Anxious Exercise Club and, programme lead for the Tricky to Talk programme at Nottingham Forest Community Trust.

I also live with a long-term anxiety condition which I manage day-to-day. Back in 2015, I had a relapse in my long term anxiety condition, which made leaving my home very difficult. Some days, it took all my strength to walk to the car to be able to go to work, and that did not leave me very productive for the rest of the day! I knew that activity and exercise were good for me and that it would ease the symptoms of my mental ill-health. But the anxious voice in my head was a lot louder when telling me that the outside was scary and there was no point in even trying.

Towards the end of 2015, I became more and more unwell, with long-term pain, muscle stiffness and overwhelming fatigue. I was referred to the hospital and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I was given guidance on how to manage my condition and one of the overwhelming pieces of advice was to do more activity. I knew I had to listen to the doctors, but I also still had the anxious voice.

So I made a compromise. I walked to the post box and back. It was about 500 yards and I started doing it once a day. Then I walked to the church just next to the postbox and then onto the bench. Every week, I added a small chunk onto my walk and it didn’t feel unmanageable, even the anxious voice quietened down. I began a circuit each evening, I simply did three or four rounds of the circuit.

Claire's postbox

This simple activity allowed me to rebuild my life. It wasn’t instant, there wasn’t a miracle cure. I still live with a long term anxiety condition that I manage each day. But I do experience the benefits of what activity can bring to my life and how it helps me to manage my anxiety.

The reason I am talking about this today is that I am finding myself in a very similar situation as we live in the current lockdown situation. I’ve found exercising very difficult due to fear and anxiety. So I wanted to take some time to talk about getting active whilst living with a mental health condition and whilst living in lockdown.

Today, I went for a small walk.

It took some bargaining with the anxious voice, but I felt able to get up a little earlier and take a few steps outside. It wasn’t about distance or the number of steps I completed, it was about breathing and feeling the sunshine. It was about letting my whole body know that whilst these are extremely frightening times, these few small steps can benefit our mental wellbeing and help us to get through this time.

There is lots of information out there currently about how we can get active in our homes, which is fantastic. But it can also be overwhelming, so I hope this post, and future ones, will let you know you are not alone.”

Community activator with big ambitions to make exercise more inclusive

Kelly Evans Community Activator

A trial partnership is helping up-skill Nottingham City Council employees to make exercise in Nottingham City more inclusive.

Community Activators have been working across the city for the past sixteen months, signposting people with a disability or long term illness into activities in the community or at one of the city’s eight leisure centres. One of these people, Kelly Evans, has embarked on a newly launched Level 3 Qualification delivered by HFE, the UK’s leading provider of personal training courses and fitness qualifications.

The Level 3 Award in Programming and Supervising Exercise with Disabled Clients, or simply Level 3 Exercise for Disabled Clients, is nationally recognised and awarded by one of the industry’s oldest awarding bodies, YMCA Awards. This means there’s a wealth of opportunity for Kelly to use this course up and down the country .

As one of the very few providers in the country who deliver this course, HFE are well placed to support Nottingham City Council in this new venture to up-skill their staff and serve a demographic that is currently greatly under-represented. Reports suggest that 1 in 5 people in the UK has a disability, which equates to nearly 11 million people. Unfortunately, only 18% of disabled adults undertake physical activity lasting longer than 30 minutes a week and this is compared to 38% of non-disabled adults.

Disability sport is highly important to Nottingham. Developing disability sport is a significant priority in the city’s Sport and Physical Activity Strategy (2015-2019); outlined in this is the aspiration to become ‘the fastest growing city for disability sports (physical activity) participation’.

To engage more people living with a disability or long term health condition, Nottingham City Council have taken bold steps in improving accessibility to leisure centres and enhancing the existing swim, gym and fitness offers to be more inclusive. To add to this, leisure centre staff have also taken part in some entry level disability confidence training to enable them to better advise customers who might require additional support.

Clearly, even more can and should be done to encourage disabled people to exercise and that’s why HFE have partnered with Nottingham City Council’s Active Nottingham to help up-skill staff and provide even more inclusive opportunities across their eight leisure centres.

Speaking about the potential of this partnership, Colin Eley said: ‘Working with HFE means we’re able to equip our staff with a more comprehensive knowledge-base to better support people accessing our service. We aim to empower citizens living with a disability or long term condition to feel confident when accessing our services while forming sustainable physical activity habits.”

Kelly, whose Community Activator role covers the Bulwell, Bulwell Forest, Bestwood and Basford wards, is the first Active Nottingham member of staff to take part in the new initiative, and she outlined how excited she was to start a new fitness journey:

“Having always been involved in fitness and sport I am very aware of the mental and physical benefits that exercise can have on people, regardless of where they currently are in their fitness journey.

Kelly Evans Running

“I am currently working with individuals who want to become more physically active but who find their long term conditions or disabilities a barrier. For them this means sessions that are perceived as a ‘mainstream’ exercise for all are not always suitable for their needs.

“During this course I am looking forward to learning new skills and broadening my knowledge base so I can better support individuals who have a broader variety of needs with exercise . I am hoping to be able to share this experience and outcomes from the course with other members of my team, so we can adapt and provide a more suitable/focused service for individuals with long term conditions or disabilities in the future.”

The council has just launched a new campaign – It’s For Me – to provide information about the accessibility, suitability and affordability of leisure provision in the city, reassuring citizens that they will be adequately provided for when they visit the council’s leisure facilities and take part in activities.

Jack’s experience with our Visually Impaired Tennis sessions

 

Jack, aged 25, who has been visually impaired from birth, travels to the Nottingham Tennis Centre once a week to play Visually Impaired Tennis and train for Regional and National tournaments around the Country.

“Give it a go, you might be better than you think.”

The Friday evening session that he attends from 6-7pm is open to all ages and abilities, with the youngest player being just ten years old.

You don’t have to be a member to play and you don’t need any expensive equipment either, as the centre provides rackets and an “audible” foam ball, which is attached to a bell to help you find its location.

In many ways, the game is the same as the national game played by the likes of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, it’s just played on a Junior Orange court with a lower net.

Jack and his fellow players are allowed one to three bounces of the ball, depending on their visual impairment, of which there are five categories: B1 (blind) through to B5 (almost fully sighted). Jack falls under B3, and so gets two bounces of the ball.

 

“It’s great fun and I’d love more people to play as it would give more variety at the tournaments I play in.”

Jack was just four years old when he started playing tennis after his Dad searched for a sport that they could play together. He’s really keen to create a legacy and encourage others to try it out too, at least once.

He’s so keen he even offers to mentor anyone who’s nervous about doing something new – offering to meet them at the Tennis Centre to welcome them and put them at ease.

For the last five years, Jack has regularly travelled to play both singles and doubles matches competitively in tournaments at Loughborough, Birmingham, Newcastle and London. His proudest achievement so far has been his recent reaching of the quarter finals, but he claims it’s not about winning – it’s about taking part and being active.

“There’s always someone better than the person at the top,  they just may not have started playing yet.”

Besides playing tennis and studying for his PHD at Derby University, Jack also loves walking and enjoys playing chess – something he modestly admits to being fairly good at, as he was once within the world’s top 7000 players.

 


Visually Impaired Tennis is just one of our specialist sessions.  Visit our Disability Activities page for other activities you can take part in.

If you live in Nottingham City and have a registered disability you can save up to 50% discount off activities, so join Active Nottingham today!