Residents over 50 can now enjoy free swimming in leisure centres in the borough, thanks to a scheme from Havering Council.
To improve health and create socialising opportunities in Havering, all residents who are over 50 can enjoy free swimming, from Monday 6 August to Thursday 1 November as part of Activate Havering.
Activate Havering is a project which aims to tackle loneliness and social isolation experienced by many older people, particularly those who live alone.
Swimming is a great way to get some exercise. It can help to improve stamina and works every part of the body, improving muscle tone and overall health. The water helps to support an individual’s body weight, lessening the impact on joints, making it a great way for older people to keep fit.
In addition to the health benefits, swimming is a great way to go out and meet new people. Swimmers of all abilities can enjoy being in the water and it is one of the few sports that can be enjoyed in all weathers, so there are lots of good reasons to take part.
Those who are interested in taking up this offer will need to register with the Council’s leisure centre operator (SLM) to receive an ‘Everyone Active’ card. On each visit to one of the Council’s leisure centres, the card will be swiped to allow the person to swim for free.
Councillor Curtin, Cabinet Member for Culture, Towns and Communities said:
“Residents of Havering have told us that they want more opportunities to stay healthy and socialise. When free swimming was first introduced in 2009 it was really popular so we have decided to introduce it again for the over 50’s.
“I really hope that people take up this fantastic opportunity. We are looking into what else we can do to improve health and socialising in the borough for this age group.”
Sheila Evans, a regular swimmer at Hornchurch sport centre, is excited about the offer. She said:
“I have been glued to the Olympics, particularly the swimming in the aquatics centre, and it is my aim to swim more often at my local pool. The fact that it will be free at certain times will attract many of my friends as well.”
Free swimming sessions will be available during certain off peak periods at Central Park and Hornchurch sport centres for Havering residents. Proof of address and proof of age at the leisure centre will be required to register.