Move More – Active Leisure scheme case study

The aim of the project was to develop a range of initiatives focusing activities towards dry side leisure provisions and community venues. Also to increase physical activity and wellbeing levels and reduce loneliness and isolation within the identified population.

The Active Leisure Scheme (ALS) has presented an extensive physical activity programme throughout the summer period in 2022 across GLL centres within Cardiff. Activities have provided accessible opportunities to participate in sport and exercise, within local leisure spaces, which have included age appropriate activities such as pilates, yoga, body conditioning and low impact circuit classes, utilising leisure based instructors. Sport Cardiff have also been able to retain important community partners, who have supplemented this initiative with targeted and ‘turn up and play’ opportunities within green space and local settings (community hall/studio’s). During this period a few forms of community provision was put on hold over the summer period (due to partner down periods and relaunches), however, Active Leisure Scheme has remained a popular activity for older adults (50+); with both leisure and community provision drawing 837 engagements across this perios.

In the following months, additional activities were re-established with delivery partners (Cardiff City Table Tennis Club, Rubicon Dance, Rise etc) who will be able to provide activities coordinated across the southern arc of Cardiff.

Provision includes activities via an ‘Active Leisure’ and community (hybrid) offer, with the majority of sessions being offered at a reduced community rate of £3 per session. A variety of activities (e.g. yoga, nordic walking and low impact conditioning) are being delivered within six leisure centres across Cardiff, including Llanishen LC, Western Leisure Centre (LC), Fairwater LC, Maindy LC, STAR Hub and Eastern LC. In addition to leisure based activities, Sport Cardiff has extended its partnership with the likes of Pedal Power, who offer inclusive cycling around Bute Park, which takes advantage of the green space and centre’s café, where participants socialise with refreshments following the session. Hockey Wales (based at Sophia Gardens) have delivered a similar experience via ‘Walking Hockey’, providing the opportunity to participate at an elite venue and then chat with refreshments within Sport Wales’ café, following this. Sport Cardiff are also a key partner in piloting the delivery of Clock Cricket (as part of the Active Leisure Scheme), a form of seated provision, which focuses on mobility, coordination and social activity. These taster sessions have been delivered within Hub and care spaces (housing services) across the East and West of Cardiff, in order to be inclusive to those that are residents/members within these settings. These bespoke and more community focused partnerships are demonstrating a number of ongoing successes, be it transition of participants into mainstream sessions, maintenance of physical activity levels or new attendees experiencing this provision for the first time.

Since Sport Cardiff and the Move More team have taken ownership over the Active Leisure Scheme, partners and participants have both paid tributes to impact, the provision has had within their respective settings. The Move More team have undertaken semi structured interviews and focus/feedback groups with participants, to provide insight around their experiences and further considerations we should have, to inform the development and look of ALS activities. Whilst undertaking these processes various leisure based attendees have highlighted the physical, mental and social benefits they’ve experienced, with one low impact circuit attendee noting they’ve “felt the benefits, improved fitness, being able to walk up stairs without holding the banister, bending, sitting, rising, better mental outlook new friendships. Additionally, delivery partners have highlighted the significance ALS has had upon the audiences they have been able to reach as a result of this funding and coproduced provision. Hilary (Pedal Power instructor) said “The project has enabled us to engage and deliver cycling sessions for mixed abilities to a large audience of 60+ across Cardiff”.

Further to this, participants have highlighted a range on personal reasons the scheme has made such a difference to them, all of which range around the factors and themes which have influenced their participation. A few participants discussed their motivation to participate, saying “We all felt that attending classes really benefitted our physical, social and emotional well-being which is really essential once we retired from working for many years”. Another lady from within a community session highlighted what it meant to her, through the sense of purpose and connectivity, stating “I don’t have any family and I hardly have any friends…this is like a life saver”. In addition to this, more recent challenges including the pandemic and current economic challenges has had a significant impact upon participation in physical activity and community sport. This was alluded to by a number of participants who, who referred to these elements, as factors which have influenced their participation in the scheme. An Eastern Leisure Centre attendee said that ALS has enabled them “to improve my fitness, which has seriously deteriorated since Covid, able to mix with other people, enjoy their company and at the same time becoming healthier and fitter”. Whilst the reduced cost of activities within Pedal Power sessions, has meant that “without something like this (ALS – Cycling), I would never have tried it”

Active Leisure Scheme – English language video. / Mae fideo Cymraeg yma.