April Update: Sport and Wellbeing
April has been a quieter time at Southampton Hub. Easter break has meant Southampton staff have been collecting feedback and getting ready to launch our new sport programme ‘Branch Up Active’ in May. Our volunteers have gone home for Easter break and we hope that among writing dissertations and revising for exams, they have had some time to concentrate on their heath and wellbeing.
There are increasing amounts of research to support the idea that being active has a positive impact on wellbeing and mental health. Sport England reported that physical activity can improve moods, reduce stress, better self esteem and prevent or manage depression and anxiety. You can find the full article here. This month we want to tell you about all of the work Southampton Hub are doing to promote ‘active lifestyles’ as part of our Sport England projects.
Southampton Hub Sports Programmes
In February we launched Empower Active, a 6 week sport mentoring programme which aimed to encourage young people to engage in healthy, active lifestyles. Volunteers from Southampton Hub and Football Beyond Borders went along to Southampton Sports Centre to support and mentor young girls from Lordshill Youth Project. Our volunteers got to experience people and places in Southampton that university students wouldn’t usually interact with.
Branch Up Active
In May we are set to launch our new sports programme: Branch Up Active. Branch Up Active provides sporting extra curricular opportunities for young people facing disadvantage in Southampton. In three activity evenings young people will have the chance to experience Zumba, Bouldering and Chinese Kickboxing whilst being supported by a university mentor. We want to show young people that doing sport doesn’t have to be competitive or hard work, it can just be fun!
At Branch Up we continue to offer opportunities for young people facing disadvantage to get out and about among their community. So far this year we have had two specific sporting days: bouldering on campus and archery/bushcraft and a vertical challenge at Woodmill Activity Centre (as pictured). These days have encouraged our beneficiaries to try new things and challenge themselves. In May we will be heading to the Common for a team work and sports day and, getting a coach to Moors Valley Country Park to explore the beautiful nature and take part in Go Ape!
Even though these days are organised sporting activities, being active isn’t just about doing sport. These days provide both volunteers and beneficiaries with an opportunity to socialise and integrate with the community.
What else can you do to get active or improve your wellbeing?
- VOLUNTEER! Our sports projects wouldn’t be able to run without our dedicated volunteers so find ways to integrate and socialise in your community. You can find out more about volunteering opportunities for the next academic year with Southampton Hub here.
- Maintain a healthy work/life balance. Life isn’t all about work, make sure your giving yourself time to unwind and do the things you love!
- Go for walks in open, outdoor spaces. Whether its for 20 minutes on your lunch break or for hours over the weekend, get some fresh air.
- Sleep. Give your body and your mind enough time to rest, it deserves it.
- Exercise. This doesn’t mean you have to got to the gym at 5am every day! Get outside, challenge yourself and try something new! Some of my favourite active initiatives in Southampton are:
- Park Run: Free 5k events every Saturday for runners, joggers and walkers of all abilities. There are events at Southampton Common, Netley Abbey, Romsey and Eastleigh as well as all over the world.
- Active Nation: as well as having various leisure centres around the city they also offer a vast range of activities including: bushcraft, abseiling, kayaking at Woodmill Activity Centre, donuting and skiing at the Sports Centre, and windsurfing and power boating at Southampton Water Activity Centre.
If you would like to keep updated with how our sport programmes are going over spring, keep an eye on out on Instagram @southampton_hub.
We understand that this time of year is stressful for managing workloads and worrying about exams. If you are worried at all, check out our blog from May 2018.