Getting active on National Fitness Day in Wigan

This year National Fitness Day falls on Wednesday 27 September and the organisers are encouraging the nation to celebrate the fun of fitness and physical activity across the UK. To mark the Day, this week Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is highlighting some of the fantastic fitness sessions taking place all year-round in different locations.

Wigan Youth Zone gym

In 2011, énergie Group, the largest and fastest growing fitness franchise company in the UK, founded National Fitness Day. The company then gifted National Fitness Day to ukactive in 2014. The aim is to establish National Fitness Day as the most active day of the year.

We know the benefits of regular exercise includes a healthier heart, increased wellbeing, and a better quality of life. However, many of us find it a struggle. Research shows that if you exercise in company, you are more likely to stick at it. The social atmosphere creates a positive environment that is important in helping us to have fun. This is at the heart of GOGA’s work- fun and inclusion.

Funded by Spirit of 2012, GOGA is an exciting programme that supports disabled and non‑disabled people to take part in fun and inclusive activities together. It aims to make activity more appealing for everyone. Working in 18 different areas across the UK, partners are delivering over 30,000 sessions over three years. One of those locations is Wigan and their team has set up an inclusive gym session at Wigan Youth Zone. Here, we talk to Rachael Dashouri-Darling, Disability Lead, at Inspiring healthy lifestyles, about the benefits of regular fitness opportunities that are accessible at a local level.

Inclusive gym sessions

We deliver an inclusive gym session as part the GOGA programme. It started out to give young people at the Wigan Youth Zone more opportunities to take part in gym or fitness activities with the right support.

The staff spoke to disabled users about providing inclusive activities and accessing gym facilities and they said they’d like to try these types of sessions. They take place on Friday and Saturday evenings with fitness instructors and additional staff and volunteers to support those that may require it.

We promote the sessions within the Youth Zone to current members and also as part of the wider GOGA programme in Wigan. Other inclusive sessions allow families to take part together, like multi-activity in Hindley and climbing at Howe Bridge.

In this session some users are new to keeping fit and others are regularly active. Then, there are participants that are active within other areas but haven’t previously accessed the gym.

All participants attending the session are under 25, with the majority being under 18 due to our membership age. There is a mixture of disabled and non-disabled as it is open to everyone. This is still a new session but participants are keen to use the gym so they now have an opportunity to try it and hopefully continue to use it at other times.

We will be promoting the important inclusion messages with other activities taking place on National Fitness Day. We are proud of the different types of activities GOGA has helped us to offer in Wigan.

Find out how you can get involved in the Get Out Get Active programme here.