Colchester’s first ParkPlay will be launching at the Old Heath Recreation Ground on Saturday 6 August 2022, at 9:30am.
ParkPlay is about building stronger, healthier, connected communities nationwide through the life-changing power of play.
ParkPlay launched in Spring 2021 to encourage everyone to be a little more active and to bring communities together. Since then, with the support of partners such as Sport England – and despite the disruption of the pandemic – 35 ParkPlays have been launched across the UK and regularly welcome over 4,000 participants on Saturday mornings.
ParkPlay is run by the local community, for the local community, and serves as a perfect launchpad into every weekend – offering two hours of play in the park, for free, every Saturday.
With active and inclusive games, all generations can play together. ParkPlay offers a safe, welcoming, and inclusive way for people to connect and have fun. Everyone is invited.
Chloe and Francesca Townsend, aka the Townsend Twins, will host the Old Heath ParkPlay. Two more Colchester ParkPlay locations will be announced in the coming months, with provider details to follow.
Chloe and Francesca Townsend, said: “We are really excited to host the first ParkPlay in Colchester and to get the community around the local area of Old heath joining in with some fun games, which are suitable for everyone. The great thing about ParkPlay is that everyone can join in and you can join in as little or as much as you like. Come and meet new people, whilst enjoying the fresh air and having fun.
“There are so many benefits to exercising and moving outdoors; it’s great for relieving stress, boosting your mental health and your immune system which is so important. It enhances your self-esteem and it’s also safer than being inside a studio.”
Cllr Julie Young, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Housing & Communities, added: “ParkPlay is the perfect way to start the weekend – with a healthy dose of fun – and to enable communities to get active. It’s for everyone, there are no fitness requirements and is completely free.
“As the cost of living becomes harder, I hope our residents try ParkPlay. It’s a wonderful way to entertain the entire family whilst helping those who might otherwise be inactive to enjoy the benefits of physical activity.”
Rich Jenner, CEO of ParkPlay, said– “We are really excited to launch ParkPlay in Colchester. ParkPlay is a space to play, to muck about with family and friends. It’s a place for friendships, old and new, and a time to create, play and imagine, together. Everyone should feel welcome, never judged, allowing ParkPlayers to grow in self-belief.”
Supported by Colchester Borough Council and Active Essex, ParkPlay is has been brought to Colchester as part of the Sport England Local Delivery Pilot (LDP), which tests new health and wellbeing projects such as Street Tag and Essex Pedal Power from 2018-2025.
The LDP complements NHS work to support people to have healthy, active lifestyles. Over time that is likely to achieve a reduction in the number of people developing long term conditions such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Physical activity also supports good mental health.