26 May 2014

Sports Blast is an exciting new project delivering sport and physical activity opportunities to 14-25 year olds in the east of the borough of Merton, through a number of year-round physical activity and wellbeing programmes.

The project is a partnership between Merton Council, YMCA St Paul’s Group, Surrey Lawn Tennis Association, England Netball, Fulham Football Foundation, Tooting and Mitcham United, Merton BMX, Moat Housing Association, Circle Housing Association, and London Sport.

YMCA LSW to offer free fitness classes and activities

YMCA London SSports Blast new website 2outh West’s role in this three year project is based around St Mark’s Academy in Mitcham, where they will offer a range of free exercise classes, free gym sessions, and free family activities from the school site. Classes will include activities such as Zumba and Insanity, and gym equipment is currently being moved into the new gym facility at St Mark’s Academy in preparation for the launch in September.

Nathan Isom, Community Health and Wellbeing Manager at YMCA LSW, said:

YMCA LSW is currently recruiting instructors from the local area, and intends on offering qualification opportunities for residents in the vicinity of St Marks Academy in order to embed the project within the community; delivered in the community, for the community, by the community”.

Thanks to £120,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Sport Activation Fund, Sports Blast is set to help more local people get into sport.

Free coaching and grass root courses

Christine Parsloe, Leisure and Culture Development Manager at Merton Council, said:

We are absolutely delighted to receive funding from the Community Sport Activation Fund. It will allow us to develop our sports provision for 14 to 25 year olds. There has always been a need to bridge the gap between the affluent west who can afford to pay that bit more for sporting activities and we are hoping to even the playing field by offering free grass roots courses and coaching to those who may not be able to afford it otherwise.”

Local Merton MP, Siobhan McDonagh, is also very positive to the project. She said:

This investment by Sport England into Merton and its partners is fantastic news. There has always been a strong sporting tradition in the area and this money is an investment in young people for today and for the future; we’ll see top class boxers training in top class facilities.”

Mike Diaper, Sport England’s Director of Community Sport, said:

It’s great to be working with innovative projects  like Sports Blast, to offer people the chance to get into sport in a way that best suits them. The investment being made through the Community Sport Activation Fund is making a real difference at a very local level. I’m particularly pleased that more than half of the funding is going into projects in deprived areas, helping more people develop a lifelong sporting habit.”

If you would like further information on the Sports Blast project, including how to register for activities, to enquire about instructor opportunities, or qualification opportunities, please contact Nathan Isom on community@ymcalsw.org or 0788 003 3553.

See also Merton Council’s website and Sports Blasts’ Facebook page.