A team from Merton represented their borough when competing against 750 over 55-year-olds at the 2015 Better Club Games and Olympic-style event for older people that was held at the Copper Box Arena on Tuesday 17th November 2015. Out of the 19 borough's that competed Merton finished 6th, with the plan to go even higher next year.
The annual event was run by the UK’s largest public leisure provider Better, the consumer facing brand of charitable social enterprise GLL. It was hosted for the second time at the former 2012 Olympic venue, sited on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. The event aims to encourage older people to become more active and to highlight the social and physical benefits that sporting activities can offer to individuals of all ages.
Participants took part in nine sports including walking football, badminton, short tennis, table tennis, darts, short mat bowls, timed cycle, timed swim and dominoes. Proudly representing their boroughs the 19 teams competing hailed from the London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Ealing, Epsom & Ewell, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hillingdon, Islington, Lambeth, Merton, Reigate & Banstead, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea as well as teams from Crystal Palace and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The winning Epsom & Ewell team reclaimed their title (last won in 2013) from last year’s winners Greenwich who were pushed into the silver medal position. Team Lambeth were delighted to secure third place.
Mark Sesnan, Managing Director at GLL the charitable social enterprise that operates Better leisure centres, opened the event while popular TV actress Catherine Russell, who plays consultant Serena Russell on BBC’s Holby City, presented winners with their awards.
Actress Catherine Russell, from BBC’s Holby City who was guest of honour and ‘on hand’ to present the prizes said:
“There’s been an extraordinary sense of community and competitive spirit today. The event has been an absolute triumph.”
Catherine Ko, Merton Team Captain, said:
''This was a fantastic day for team Merton, we had representatives in all but one of the sports and activities, with another top 10 finish achieved this shows how strongly represented we are as brough in the 55+ age group. We plan to build on the success of this year and improve the provision for participation for our senior club members''
Mark Sesnan, Managing Director at GLL, said:
“As GLL is the UK’s leading charitable leisure social enterprise we are proud to run the Better Games to celebrate the benefits of physical activity and active lifestyles across all our UK partnerships - whatever your age!”