Free alternative fitness classes are helping Rochford residents become more active while boosting their mental health.
Tai Chi and meditation sessions at Rochford Martial Arts Academy, funded by Sanctuary Housing as part of its Love Sport programme, have proved so popular that 27 people are taking part in two sessions a week.
Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that uses low-impact, slow movements to strengthen muscles and benefits people of all fitness levels and ages, including those living with chronic pain.
Chris Silvey, Sanctuary Housing’s resident involvement officer for Rochford, said: “We hope these Love Sport sessions will encourage residents, many of whom don’t normally exercise, to get active in an alternative way as we want to help local people lead happy and healthy lives.”
Gavin King, from Rochford Martial Arts, said: “People are becoming far more aware of the benefits of studying Tai Chi and meditation and the response from the community for this exciting Love Sport project has been overwhelming. These sessions give the community a great chance to learn how to transform their lives through gentle exercise.”
Sanctuary’s nationwide Love Sport programme, a partnership with Sport England, aims to engage more than 2,250 people in sport and fitness activities in neighbourhoods across the country.
Sanctuary’s investment in the five-year programme has been match-funded by Sport England, through National Lottery investment, to help deliver the sport and activity sessions. Find out more about Sanctuary’s Love Sport programme by visiting www.sanctuary-housing.co.uk/love-sport
Anyone interested in taking part should contact Rochford Martial Arts by calling 01702 808262 or emailing email@example.com