Former Nottingham Forest and England footballer Viv Anderson will help launch FREEsport, a free project to give Nottingham adults the chance to try a new sport or improve their existing skills, on Wednesday 27 April.
The launch will take place during City of Football’s first ‘Rusty Returners’ football session for men aged 40 or over at Southglade Leisure Centre in Bestwood at 7pm.
FREEsport sessions, including archery, badminton, tennis and netball, will be on offer at city leisure centres and parks from Monday 25 April 2016 until Saturday 25 March 2017, with extra sports such as ‘Rusty Returners’ football, VX (a cross between dodgeball and lacrosse) and pétanque available from Monday 25 April to Sunday 19 June. Additional extra programmes for the autumn and winter will be announced nearer the time.
The FREEsport project follows a pilot programme in January and February, which was so popular Nottingham City Council decided to extend the scheme and introduce a booking app in addition to a phone number and website.
The sessions, for Nottingham residents aged 16 or over, will take place at various times, including evenings, on different days of the week to give as many people as possible chance to join in. ‘Learn or Return’ events have been designed for beginners and people who haven’t played for some time, while ‘Sport Club Led’ sessions will encourage people to get regularly involved through a sports club. And prizes will be on offer for completing eight, 15 and 25 sessions.
To take part, residents must register on 0115 876 1600 or at www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/freesport, where they will find the full programme and further details. The council has already contacted everyone who registered for the pilot programme so they do not need to register again.
Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said: “We’re looking forward to launching the FREEsport programme with Viv Anderson. During the pilot programme earlier this year, hundreds of adults of all abilities and ages – some of them over 80 – took the opportunity to try out a new sport for free, get back into something they used to enjoy or make the connection with a local club. FREEsport has already changed the lives of many participants for the better and I’m sure that even more people will get involved to improve their fitness while having some fun.”
Viv Anderson is a City of Football ambassador. City of Football aims to promote the benefits of football, raise participation levels, support diversity and create new initiatives that could be spread across the country. More information is available at www.city-of-football.uk.