On 19 March, London Sport celebrated the CommUNITY space at Lewisham Shopping Centre with an event held in partnership with Enable, Landsec, Lewisham Council, the Felix Project and Rethink Food UK.
As part of London Sport’s Space for Girls initiative, the CommUNITY Space was a once-vacant shopping unit which has since been transformed into a wellbeing space which provides a safe and comfortable environment for the local community to be active. There is a range of free activities on offer including yoga, dance, archery, table tennis, Zumba, boxing, and spin classes, as well as women-only sessions which have been created in consultation with local women and girls.
One of London Sport’s key partners, Exergame, were in attendance and exhibited their innovative BlazePod products at the event. Exergame are keen supporters of SFG and are keen to help scale the project to engage more young girls in London and add value to their experience through their gamified products.
Trevor Mills, Co-founder of Exergame said: There’s a great synergy between London Sport and Exergame, we both have the belief and ethos to get Londoners, both young and old to get active and out into urban spaces and non-traditional spaces, and take advantage of the work we are doing together.
Sessions at CommUNITY space are typically run by activity provider Enable, and other community groups provide other services including the Felix Project who provide hot refreshments and meals.
The importance of spaces like these has sadly been emphasised by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and more recently, the cost-of-living crisis. A recent London Sport report which explored the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on sport and physical activity, showed that over a third of Londoners (38%) are finding the crisis to negatively impact their ability to be active, and that two-thirds of Londoners (66%) have changed their activity habits as costs continue to rise (compared to 46% across the UK).
Empty spaces around London have the potential to help local communities live longer, healthier, and happier lives through physical activity. London Sport will continue creating new active environments going forward, and will soon be working with another key partner, Decathlon, to develop our Space for Girls initiative and to open a second hub at one of their flagship stores in Surrey Quays.