Supporting the ethnically diverse community
The Covid-19 pandemic left a growing fear amongst the community not to socialise with each other which led to physical activity not being a priority for many. Set up in September 2020, the Colchester Brothers Kinetic Group was designed by a group of Bangladeshi men who were struggling to access sporting activities in Colchester. After reaching out to members within the community, they knew the need was there.
It was recognised that a majority of this community were inactive and there was a general lack of motivation to get active and keep healthy, with diabetes and heart disease prevalent among the male population. There are religious, cultural and financial barriers for residents in this community when accessing sport and physical activity.
Costs for regular court hire, racquets and shuttles were expensive and the initial funding from Active Essex removed this barrier, enabling and encouraging regular participation.
Badminton is an expensive sport where costs for continuous, shuttles, rackets court hire are too much to meet for a marginalised community. The initial funding from Active Essex removed this barrier, allowing participants to feel encouraged to participate. With sessions taking place twice a week and regular attendees returning, the Badminton sessions are providing the community with a great social hub.
Group members are now collecting a subsidiary collection of £1 during the weekly sessions to ensure sustainability of the programme.
Participants have learnt that exercising and staying active can be fun and enjoyable, where previously they needed lots of encouragement to take part. But, due to beginning these sessions during Covid-19 lockdowns, this presented a challenge for the founders as members had to continually self-isolate and would miss sessions.