A new sports and swim club based in Bury St Edmunds, has recently launched, aimed at tackling inequalities and increasing physical activity levels for participants with additional needs.

The Big Sport Club, is delivered by Abbeycroft Leisure, in partnership with Inspire Social Care Services and has been funded by Active Suffolk’s Together Fund.

The club takes place on Fridays at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre from 10:00 until 15:00 and includes a supported swim session, lunch, a sports session including Boccia, New Age Kurling, Table Tennis and Badminton followed by an opportunity to take part in a dance and music session.

Participants are able to choose from any or all of the activities on offer during the day, with the aim of increasing movement through appropriate activity, improving social interaction, and mental health.

Warren Smyth, chief executive at Abbeycroft said:

“The Big Sport Club is another good example of partnerships working to improve and enrich the quality of life of our community.
Opportunities to lead active, healthy lifestyles should be available to everyone and we are happy to be able to facilitate this in partnership with Inspire and with the support from Active Suffolk.”

Andrew Crowe, Development Officer for Insight and Evaluation at Active Suffolk said:

“The Big Sport project is one of a number of successful Together Fund projects addressing widening inequalities and increasing physical activity levels among their participants. With rising levels of physical inactivity around the county – particularly amongst minority groups – we are delighted to be able to use the Together Fund on behalf of Sport England to support these communities and to see the direct impact these awards produce.

If you work with a group that meet the fund’s criteria (long-term health conditions, disability, minority ethnic groups or lower socio-economic groups – primarily within Ipswich), we welcome a discussion about the fund and the suitability of your organisation applying.”

Cllr Jo Rayner, Deputy Leader of West Suffolk Council said:

“This brilliantly demonstrates how sharing focus and facilities can create opportunities. I’m delighted our leisure centre is hosting the club and wish the participants and partners much enjoyment.”

Hayley Hindmarch manager and co-director at Inspire Social Care Services in Newmarket said:

“We’re so pleased to be involved with this club as it’s exactly the type of session we believe people with additional needs should have easy access to.”
“Physical activity is equally as important for someone with additional needs, as it is for someone without; improving mental health, strengthening connections and improving confidence.
“The partnership with Abbeycroft is great – they’ve been so easy to work with and they are super efficient.

Michelle from Mildenhall is a participant at the Big Sport Club, she said:

“I usually come for the whole day and I particularly like the swimming and the dancing.
These sessions are great for getting you out of the house and I’ve already made lots of friends.
The staff are brilliant and I love all of them.”

Find out more about the Big Sport Club 

Images taken at The Big Sport Club in September 2022

Boccia at The Big Sport Club copy
Lunch at The Big Sport Club
basketball at big sport club
Inspire team at big sport club
Hayley and participant big sport club
big sport lunchtime