Keep on moving

The team of Croydon residents at The Copper Box Arena for the 2019 Better Club Games. Joined by two Team GB Olympians, five-time Olympic swimmer, Mark Foster and sprinter-turned-bobsleigh athlete Montell Douglas.

Keeping active and moving our bodies more can make a huge difference to our health and wellbeing. It can seem a daunting task to change our routine and fit in a bit more exercise but joining a group activity is a great way to look after your health and wellbeing. It can also help to tackle people being isolated or feeling alone as talking, supporting and helping each other makes people happier, can prevent illness and reduces the need for specialist care.

Last year, a team representing Croydon lined up against teams from across London and beyond to represent their borough, competing against 500 over 55-year-olds at Better Club Games – an Olympic-style event for older people, held at the Copper Box Arena and London Aquatics Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The annual event, now in its 14th year, is run by Better, which operates Croydon’s sport and leisure facilities. It encourages older people to be more active and focuses on the physical and social benefits of sport.

Participants took part in eleven sports including walking football, walking netball, badminton, short tennis, table tennis, darts, short mat bowls, timed cycle, timed swim and dominoes.

Team Croydon finished in 10th place, beating local rivals Merton and Crystal Palace along the way! Training has already started for next year’s event – which is due to take place in June 2020.

The annual event is also a celebratory showcase for the weekly older adult sessions across our Croydon Better leisure centres, which includes swimming, dance aerobics, Yoga, water workouts, badminton, darts and more! There’s also a social element in Thornton Health with tea and coffee on offer. The New Addington Leisure and Community Centre will launch older adults club programme February.

Outside of the sports hall and jumping in to the water, whatever your age or ability, swimming is a great all-round exercise, working almost every muscle in your body without putting stress on your joints and it’s fantastic for your physical and mental wellbeing too.

It’s fun and exciting for all the family. We also offer affordable adult and baby swimming sessions where parents, grandparents or carers can join little ones in the pool to share first splashes, until, as more experienced toddlers, they’re ready to jump in on their own!

Adult swimming classes

Can’t swim as an adult? Join the club! So many adults in the Croydon are learning to swim and enjoying a whole new world in the water – a valuable life skill!

We work with Swim England and the Swimming Teachers Association to deliver our swimming lessons and courses, so you’ll be in safe hands in the water.

You can find a wide range of swim sessions at your local swimming pool in Croydon, such as those already mentioned, plus Swim for All, surfing and canoeing, diving and water skiing.

Check out the online pool timetables to see when your next session is

You can also search for a range of activities taking place across the borough like football, belly dancing, bowling, walking, trampolining, swimming and more using the physical activity finder tool at

What one thing do you find makes a positive difference to your physical or mental health? What would help you do it more often? Tell us in this online discussion.


Phil Kemp

Phil Kemp

Community sport manager and designated safeguarding officer, sport and participation unit at GLL Better

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