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Mandy has been attending Young@Heart sessions for 8 years, firstly she attended sessions at John Orwell because the sports and fitness class programme suited her there. Travelling from East Ham to Wapping every week she quickly became a influential part of the programme, promoting it wherever she went, bringing people along and baking cakes for everyone to enjoy. Over the last few years Mandy has started to come to other centres in the borough for Y@H because the programme has grown and evolved and is more appealing to more of the community.  

When Y@H was launched at Poplar Baths in 2017 Mandy was ready to get involved and help promote the new timetable at the newly refurbished centre. Poplar Baths has quickly become a success with sessions starting at 9.30 and not finishing until 4pm, Walking Netball was launched at the centre in 2018 and has gone from strength to strength with over 20 older people attending each week. Initially the sessions were run by England Netball but this model wasn’t sustainable so Poplar Baths offered to put suitable, committed Y@H participants on a walking netball coaches course, Mandy was just the right person!

Since completing her course Mandy has taken on the coaching of the walking netball team at Poplar Baths, the sessions have gone from strength to strength with players coming from Hackney and Greenwich to take part in fun but competitive netball and a good natter over a hit drink.

I absolutely love the fact that I can play and now coach netball. I hadn’t played since I was in school but this walking netball launch has been brilliant. I am always promoting the sessions, going into doctors surgeries, dentists and inviting people along – they get a cake each week too!’

For more information on the Young@Heart programme please visit https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/london/tower-hamlets/poplar-baths-leisure-centre/club-activities-poplar-baths

or email jeanette.spenner@gll.org