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).
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.
Competitors are drawn from Active Ageing Clubs facilitated by GLL in leisure centres; the activities chime with GLL’s mission to improve health and wellbeing as a key community service through physical activity and sport.
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.
‘Better’ is the brand name of the UK’s leading leisure charitable social enterprise GLL. The company’s ethos is to reinvest in local community health and wellbeing and the Better Club Games is a key part of this commitment.
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.”
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.
In a tightly fought contest, Epsom & Ewell took the ultimate overall title – ahead of Greenwich in 2nd and Sutton in 3rd.
Team Hillingdon competed in 3 different sports: darts, badminton and short mat bowls. It was a busy competition, with some very seasoned players, however Hillingdon still managed to place 2nd in the darts and 4th in the short mat bowls!
We want to wish a massive well done to John; Patricia; Carlton; Milka; Sharon; Nina; Michele; Gaynor; Pete; Kathleen; Marie; Patricia; Mary who all competed for Team Hillingdon. We also want to thank all those from Hillingdon who came to spectate. Plans are already underway for Hillingdon to return next year bigger and better!