Sport NI have teamed up with Ulster University Sport to offer our Every Body Active 2020 partners the chance to take part in a Glow Sports taster session. This event took place at the sports centre at Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus on Friday 27th October. The session was part of Sport NI’s continuing development of new opportunities for coaches and partners who are working as part of our Lottery Funded programme, Every Body Active 2020, in councils across Northern Ireland. Women and girls are one of the key target groups of this programme and the Glow Sports activities are a perfect fit to encourage these participants to get #BetterFitter.
Glow Sports has become hugely popular across the UK in recent years, offering a variety of different sporting activities under UV lights. By emphasising the social and sensory value of being active, Glow Sports offers participants of all abilities the opportunity to do physical activity in a fun and friendly environment. A Glow Sports session combats the body image issues that exist for many females when taking part in sport as no one can judge you in the dark! The combination of UV lights, glow paint and music means the Glow Sports session is more of a party than a fitness class.
The ‘Get Active, Get Glowing’ Programme at Ulster University has been funded through the Department of Communities and Sport Northern Ireland as part of the #ActiveFitSporty partnership. This collaboration encourages women and girls across Northern Ireland to participate in sporting activities and sustain their engagement by volunteering or taking on leadership at grassroots sports programmes.
Charlotte Peile, student sport development officer at Ulster University, provided the EBA coaches with an introduction to the ‘Get Active, Get Glowing’ programme, and outlined how the programme is operated at Ulster University, with their portable set up being transferred between campuses to allow all students the chance to engage with this programme. This allowed the EBA partners to see the value Glow Sports could have in encouraging women and girls to get more active in their area.
The EBA coaches were kitted out with glow paint and got stuck in to getting their ‘Glow’ on – some even designed each other’s looks. At this event the partners experienced the Glow Table Tennis, Glow Badminton and Glow Spin setup, all of which were facilitated by Ulster University Activators.
A key learning from this event for all the EBA partners was the versatility which the Glow Sports setup can provide for their Every Body Active programmes. Once the equipment, including UV lights, tape and paint, has been acquired, the sessions can easily be adapted for a whole range of sporting activities. The EBA partners who attended work with a variety of different groups and participants and everyone could see a range of possibilities for how Glow Sports could be rolled out in their area.
Each of the councils in Northern Ireland are also establishing objectives for community planning, with the health and wellbeing of the people in their area being a key priority. The Glow Sports setup combats the fears many inactive females have of taking up sport and can encourage a traditionally difficult to engage audience to regularly participate in activity, improving their health and wellbeing. We are looking forward to working with our EBA2020 partners to expand the Glow Sports offering across Northern Ireland and impact communities throughout the province.