Date posted 02 Oct 2023

Tuesday 26 September saw the long-awaited return of the ‘Better Club Games’ tournament at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Copper Box Arena. This annual event for the over-60s last ran in 2019 (before Covid).

This year, 19 teams took part from Better leisure partnerships across London, the south east, Lincolnshire and Rugby competing in a diverse range of activities - darts, dominoes, short tennis, short-mat bowls, swimming, badminton, table tennis, cycling, walking netball and walking football.

Hammersmith & Fulham team included participants in badminton, table tennis, short tennis and swimming. Although no team managed to get on the podium there were some great performance with one of our badminton teams reaching the quarter finals.

GLL first decided to put on the Better Club Games back in 2006 when it realised there was no major multi-sports activity in the UK which brought older adults together annually in the spirit of fun competition.

Active ageing has since become a major public health priority with noted benefits to physical health, mental health and helping reduce social isolation in the UK’s older population.  In addition, keeping active reduces the burden on the NHS.

The Better Club Games Ambassador was actress and radio presenter Vicki Michelle - of ‘Allo Allo’, EastEnders and Emmerdale fame.  She added a touch of glamour and cheered on the participants.

GLL CEO Peter Bundey said: “It was great to see over 550 participants at the Copper Box Arena turn out to take part in this year’s return of the Better Club Games, compete and have fun.

“Wider society benefits in so many ways from active ageing and as a social enterprise we will continue to drive activity for this important age group.

“Congratulations to all those who took part and to our worthy winners – Epsom & Ewell.”

H&F team members commented;

 ‘It was a great day, unfortunately we didn’t win but it was very enjoyable.”

“It was great playing against different boroughs, looking forward to practicing for next year.”

The H&F lead said;

 “We had a great day at the 2023 games...sadly Hammersmith & Fulham didn't win any of the activities. It's taking part that counts!”

Since its inception in 2006, the Better Club Games has grown to become a major event that brings together over 700 competitors alongside dozens of GLL “Club” facilitators, community sports teams and volunteers over 2 days (walking football and netball were held the day before the Club Games with 150 people participating at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre).

Better Club Games is organised and funded exclusively by charitable social enterprise GLL. In addition to refreshments, participants enjoy raising awareness for their club, a celebrity ambassador on the day and a medal for everyone.