Free sports sessions at Hackney leisure centres

Young women in Hackney will be able to take part in more sport for free thanks to Hackney Council being chosen to take part in Sport England - ‘Active Women’.

The scheme aims to encourage more young women, especially those who care for children, to take up a sport as they are less likely than young men to participate.

Through ‘Active Women’ the Council will provide opportunities for 16-25 year old women to take part in free swimming, netball, football, volleyball, dance and gym and fitness sessions at local leisure centres across the borough. A series of 12 week programmes, which will start in Spring 2011 will run for two years providing opportunities to try a range sports. The Council will be working closely with local sports clubs to make sure that there are opportunities to continue with each activity.

Young women can now register their interest in the scheme by contacting Sarah Davies at Hackney Council on 020 8356 7563 or .More information on the scheme will be available shortly.

Councillor Jonathan McShane, Hackney’s Cabinet member for Community Services said: “I’m delighted that Hackney has been chosen to take part in the Active Women initiative. Anything that encourages more young women into sport can only be a good thing. Through this scheme in Hackney we will be able to provide opportunities for 16-25 year old women to take part in swimming, netball, football, volleyball, dance and gym at their local leisure centres.”

Active Women is funded by Sport England to boost women’s participation in sport, especially those who care for children or who live in disadvantaged communities because they face some of the biggest barriers to participation. Just one in 10 women living in disadvantaged areas regularly play sport.

Hackney Council is one of 62 organisations delivering the project, which is being led by multi-award winning sports development charity StreetGames.

Jane Ashworth, Chief Executive of StreetGames, said: “This groundbreaking project is one of the biggest mobilisations of women in sport ever. It will see the expertise and experience of a vast range of organisations pooled together to establish new interventions, new training packages and new ways of thinking that will grow and sustain participation in sport by young women from areas of significant disadvantage. The project will play a significant role in ensuring a legacy for women s sport well beyond the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Jennie Price, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said: “For many women with children or those managing a tight budget, sport – and time to themselves - can slip down the list of priorities. The projects we’re funding have asked local women what is preventing them from getting involved and what sports interest them, before coming up with an offer that is appealing and accessible.”

For more information on the programme or to sign up to Active Women contact Sarah Davies, Leisure Partnership Development Office

Hackney Council’s Leisure and Physical Activity Team on 020 8356 7563 or