New Age Games
Bringing sport to new groups
Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre
Inspired by London 2012, Hackney Council created The London Borough of Hackney New Age Games programme in 2011, aimed at encouraging residents over 50 to participate in physical activity sessions to boost their health and wellbeing and break down the barriers of social isolation.
Since 2015, the New Age Games programme has delivered free indoor tennis at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. This not only ensures local residents benefit from the world class venue, but also instils a sense of pride and ownership in the facilities and encourages them to reflect on their part in the Olympic and Paralympic story and its legacy.
‘‘Post Games, it was important the legacy was not forgotten and that local residents were able to have access to the world class facilities on their doorstep, says Hackney Council’s Sport & Physical Activity Co-ordinator Darren English.
“This was achieved via a good partnership with Lee Valley who enabled us to provide indoor tennis to residents age 50 plus which, in turn, minimises barriers to regular participation.
‘‘Participants have spoken of the benefits of taking up a new sport, such as reduced blood pressure and glucose levels, the ability to maintain a healthy weight, improved fitness and mobility and reduced feelings of depression and anxiety. The opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills also helps to combat social isolation. Many would never have visited Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre had it not been for this initiative.”
Hazel Frazer from Hackney said ‘‘My first session at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre was amazing. I felt privileged to have such a wonderful facility where I could learn to play tennis. I’ve met like-minded people on the courts and formed friendships, which has seen me socialise more outside of tennis, which aids my emotional wellbeing.’’