These are just some of the stories from people who have participated in the SportsPound programme. If you would like to share your story with us please do get in touch.
Christine joined SportsPound to boost her fitness and keep her body mobile, so she used her vouchers to go Swimming. even though she's finished using her vouchers, Christine still absolutely loves going swimming at Filton Leisure Centre, and said she couldn't believe at how nice all of the staff were to everyone - "they were so accommodating and friendly, I always look forward to going swimming at Filton and would recommend it to anyone!"
Laura used her vouchers to attend a Buggy Fit group in Filton. Even though the classes unfortunately had to stop, Laura has been doing exercise on her own, using youtube videos whilst her son is napping (yoga, pilates and HIIT) as well as regularly walking 2-4 miles with her dog most days. She also occasionally goes swimming, and takes her son with her! Laura is now expecting her second child so she's been conscious to maintain a good level of activity whilst managing pregnancy symptoms.
"Life's always a balance but I really appreciated the 'kick up the bum' the SportsPound vouchers I used for getting me started at buggy fit classes!"
Jenny (71) decided to get SportsPound vouchers after being encouraged by another participant, Kate, in a local supermarket. Although she was anxious, she joined 60+ Fitness at Bradley Stoke leisure centre. One year on, and Jenny is still attending her classes! "My SportsPound vouchers helped me look differently at fitness and eating healthily...sometimes I walk a mile to the leisure centre, do my exercises and then walk home"
An inspiration to us all!
John (67 years old) used his vouchers to complete the Couch to 5K. Since that time he's managed a few park runs and has continued to meet up with his original C25K group. John also took up Walking Rugby and was so encouraged that he started a new walking rugby group at Kingswood Rugby Club. He now plays badminton at Kingswood leisure centre and also just started Tai Chi. If that wasn't enough, John also took part in kayaking & paddle boarding at the Bristol docks. "It's a complete change after many years of doing very little exercise" Well done John!
After using his vouchers for swimming, Ben now regularly makes time to take his son to children's sessions to encourage his family to be active. He also goes to the gym and has taken up a past hobby of football, and says that his levels of fitness have never been better!
Zoe used her vouchers to start swimming again she says "It helped me both physically and mentally, and I have been able to regain my life back". Zoe is now successfully back into employment with improved fitness, and is looking to sign up as a full gym member, well done Zoe!
Emma joined SportsPound after she was tagged in a comment made on Facebook. She shared this with a small group of friends and some chose to attend a zumba class. One class Emma found wasn't for her, so she tried another and was blown away! "This was part of the beauty of the scheme, it allowed you to try different activities". Emma and her friends got hooked on the latin-style dance exercise and became fully paying members and since have barely missed a class since. "There are all ages, shapes and sizes enjoying regular exercise and having fun together...the instructors were so welcoming and friendly, the class atmosphere was brilliant".
Now Emma has made some lovely new friends and they've enjoyed several social events together outside of the class. "I was doing no regular exercise before. I am overweight and I am working on this but I now have the confidence to feel accepted and part of an exercise group".
Emma's class and her spoooooky friends!
Eddie & Jackie
Eddie and Jackie both used their SportsPound vouchers to use the gym at Elite Fitness in Thornbury. Although it hasn't been consistent activity due to illness, this dynamic duo have enjoyed being active so much that they purchased an exercise bike for their home; now they can be active whenever they like!
Since finishing his SportsPound vouchers, Tom has been playing Just Play football at least once a week, and is so motivated that he also takes part in the weekly 5k park run!
Amanda joined the Sportspound Couch to 5k in October 2016, in the hope that it would fit into her busy schedule.
It completely changed her life, not only did she complete her 5k run in December 2016, but she went on the complete the Bristol 10k in May 2017 & then two Half Marathons, one in September & one in November 2017. "I have completely fallen in love with running. I also lost 3 stone in weight...my health has improved greatly and I have a much more positive attitude".
Amanda loved the encouragement and guidance she received from Sportspound and the other participants in her group were fantastic. So much so, that a small group of them still meet up to run every week!
Chloe was diagnosed with Diastasis Recti after having her baby. Determined to get back into her pre-baby body, she started PHNX Fitness with her SportsPound vouchers. Chloe liked the fact that PHNX Fitness studio was made child-friendly, and now she attends the gym every morning at 6:15am! "My goal for 2018 is to build up my muscles for our first family holiday...using the SportsPound vouchers really gave me the kickstart in getting my body back!"
Chloe before and after SportsPound vouchers!
Pauline (63 years old) and Mary (70 years old) joined our Couch 2 a Mile session in March 2017 at Emersons Green. Neither had run before but decided to give it a go. Over the seven weeks both Pauline and Mary have built up from a very gentle walk to running for a minute and a half, with a minutes rest and then repeating this until they have covered a mile.
Vicky started gentle exercise (swimming and running) through SportsPound, and continued to exercise even after using her voucher booklet. She has since completed more than one obstacle race, a 10K race, and various parkruns and is always posting comments about her weight loss and fitness progress on social media – Well done Vicky!
Leanne is a single mum and her child has cerebral palsy. She has managed to find the time and space to participate and complete in the Staple Hill Couch to 5K. See the below picture of Leanne with her friends.
Leanne and her friends
Sarah (60+ years old) had previously suffered with depression and wanted to stop her weight gain. She joined the Couch to 5K and has been able to increase her social contacts and is also feeling good about herself.
Sandra came to the group having never run before and felt that she needed to do some exercise on a regular basis. Sandra has been part of the Couch to 5K and more recently become part of a social running group, she says that “it has given me stamina, socialisation, socialisation, friendship (recently the ladies from the group took Sandra out for her 50th birthday), empowerment, enjoyment and faith in herself that all things are possible.” Sandra was diagnosed with Leukaemia in January.
Justine received her vouchers from Southern Brooks Community Partnerships. Sportspound's Alison spoke to Justine, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, she did know though that she wanted to get fitter and lose weight. Justine doesn’t drive so it had to be places accessible to her by foot, public transport or on her bike. Alison suggested Zumba as it was somewhere Justine could get too easily after dropping her children at school. After a few weeks Alison spoke to Justine and suggested an outdoor exercise class that was in walking distance and near and at the same time as where her children did a martial arts class. Justine liked the instructor and then started a third exercise class, Legs Bums and Tums. Justine has been continuously exercising since March, she has lost two stone in weight and improved her fitness.