Who’s up for the Mencap Round the World Challenge?

Round the World Challenge enjoyed a successful launch in Southend

Getting people active was at the heart of Mencap’s launch of the second year of the Round the World Challenge and participants have all felt the life-changing quality of physical activity.  

There were opportunities to try a range of activities and engage with different sports clubs on 22 January at Southend United’s Roots Hall and members of the South Essex community turned out in force. 

Sitting volleyball, bowls and yoga were just three of the activities on offer with sessions taking place across the day, while there was also the chance to sign up for the Round the World Challenge.

Project 49, a service local to the South Essex area, brought many of their service users along to the event who already signed-up and were ready to embark on their journey Round The World!

The project promotes healthy lifestyles and community inclusion, as well as offering a variety of activities.

Kerry, a regular participant in Project 49, plays sport throughout the week and it has become a significant part of her life.

“The sports I take part in are cycling, swimming and lots of walking through our regime at Project 49,” said Kerry. “It helps me to get healthy and stay in shape.

“I loved the volleyball because you can be sat down and you’re in a team with lots of other people.

“Sport is one of my favourite things. I get to do water aerobics and Pilates in the water with music on Friday and Sunday evenings. I get to meet lots of different people.”

Another Project 49 attendee Emma added: “I like swimming, football and sessions at the gym or an exercise and games session.

“My favourites are going on the bikes and treadmills because they help to get you healthy.

“It’s nice to be in a group with lots of people and I’ve been with Project 49 for eight years. I started doing more exercise recently and I like being in the water – even though it’s cold sometimes!”

Activators and local sports club were on hand to give out information about their classes, activities to get more people into sport and getting active.

Essex Cricket’s Bradley Donovan, in attendance in Southend, believes his sport offers participants something unique and that activity providers play a key role in engaging the public.

“I came to Southend to see what the interest was and how we can help get a hub here, to benefit local people and get them into cricket,” he said.

“Cricket is a different sport for people to look at. You’ve got football, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby but this is slightly different.

“It’s not a Paralympic or Olympic sport and I’ve seen so many people come through our programme really thriving and enjoying getting active.”