Strengthening Communities

Sport for Confidence

Inclusive Physical Activity at Waterside Farm Leisure Centre

Sport for Confidence brings together the health system and sport sector to address inequalities in participation for individuals who face barriers. They form innovative partnerships between allied health professionals, leisure centres, local sports clubs and the voluntary sector. Such partnerships place health professionals in community settings, to make adjustments that create truly accessible activity opportunities.

Sport for Confidence consists of Occupational Therapists and coaches who are able to deliver a variety of interventions which encourages a culture of wellbeing, impacting positively on both physical and mental health and overall enjoyment in everyday activities for individuals. A programme of weekly sessions is available at Waterside Farm Leisure Centre, supported by Find Your Active Castle Point. Through Active Essex’s local Active Network, they have supported Sport for Confidence with funding and building further local relationships.

In partnership with the Gym Manager and the Leisure and Community Services General Manager at Waterside, Sport for Confidence have enabled individuals who attend the programme, to take part in further activities at the gym for £3 pay as you go, with the gym induction included.


Group 1
Who's it for?
Residents who face barriers attending physical activity opportunities
Goal 1
Prime Objective:
to ensure there are accessible and inclusive opportunities for residents to get active
Goal 2
Second Objective:
to provide opportunities for residents to meet new people and develop friendships

Over the last 3 months, the Occupational Therapist has focused on each individuals' occupational performance. Using an activity-based focus, they have been able to review their cognitive, motor, and sensory skills, supporting them with transferring these skills to their day-to-day activities.

The Sport for Confidence therapeutic programme is continuing to deliver two Boccia groups, a basketball group, social swimming, and a multi-sports group. The bespoke college session and the Sport and Strength session continue to grow. The therapeutic programme offers participants the opportunity to develop/maintain occupational performance skills, and for one client, the boccia and dance session is being utilised to support with regulation of emotions and social skills.

Making physical activity fun and enjoyable
total attendances
unique attendees
sessions delivered
I have autism, anxiety and diabetes and my mother has early on-set Alzheimer’s. Since attending Sport for Confidence I feel more confident in carrying out daily tasks and use breathing techniques regularly to help manage my anxiety.
Gemma, a self-referral to Sport for Confidence

As the programme develops, Sport for Confidence, alongside their partners, will continue to provide an appropriate activity environment in which health and social care professionals can assess and deliver therapeutic interventions using sport and physical activity. This is to be part of a graded approach and can include progressing from specialist groups to mainstream activities, whilst also realising additional health benefits.


Key Learnings

It's important to take time to reflect and understand the learnings from work undertaken, in order to focus on ways to improve in the future.

Educating Staff

Educating Staff

Important to educate staff on the Sport for Confidence model and role of Occupational Therapists

Healthcare R Elationships


Should maintain partnerships and relationships with local healthcare and sports organisations

Community links

Community Links

This year has established the importance of linking with PCN's and CAVS - Ways to Wellness

Carer Support

Carer Support

Next step should include a meeting with the carers support advisor for further development

I just wanted to say how much the students have enjoyed being back at Boccia, it really does help with their hand eye coordination, movement and also their mental health. We have noticed a change in all of them and they all really look forward to coming on a wednesday. Their confidence levels have also increased and all of them now want to be the scorers or go first.
Manager of Day Centre