Everyday ActivIpswich

Helping motivate and inspire people over 45 to make positive changes to their lifestyle through physical activity.

About ActivIpswich

ActivIpswich is a partnership between ActivLives and Ipswich Borough Council that is focussed on supporting and encouraging people, who are over 45 and not currently involved in regular sport and/or physical activity, by providing accessible sports opportunities.

ActivIpswich, a partnership between ActivLives and Ipswich Borough Council is funded by the National Lottery as part of Sport England’s Community Sport Activation Fund. The project is funded up until 31st July 2018.

Our programmes are particularly targeted at those who are 45 years of age and over. We welcome all new participants. Don’t worry about your playing standard – we are a project that provides for all levels of ability.

The emphasis is very much upon the social as well as the physical benefits that can be gained from getting involved with regular physical activity.

Many of our participants have either a long term health condition and/or a disability (35-40%). We tend to deliver slightly unusual sports in community venues, so please give us a look even you have never thought of yourself as being particularly ‘sporty’ – You might surprise yourself!

We offer community sport sessions that are:

  • Friendly and informal – most involve a cup of tea and a biscuit!
  • Targeted at the over 45’s (many of our participants are in their 70’s and 80’s)
  • Welcoming to people who are new to sport as well as those who haven’t played for years. You won’t need any special kit or equipment
  • Without membership fees – we only charge session fees so you only pay for the sessions that you attend. (The first session is always free)
  • Suitable for mature participants and those with limited mobility

These are in a variety of sports including archery, boccia, badminton, kurling, lawn bowls, short mat bowls, table tennis, short tennis, walking football, and multi sports.

News from ActivIpswich

Celebrating ‘Move Suffolk Week’!

Next week is ‘Move Suffolk Week’ and to help to celebrate this we are holding our ‘ActivFriends Week’.   We are involved with several events next week including:   Saturday 18th May (10-4pm), Special Olympics Eastern Region Badminton Tournament at...

Get Involved

A weekly programme of SPORTS sessions

We run a variety of scheduled weekly sporting sessions that include archery, boccia, badminton, kurling, lawn bowls, short mat bowls, table tennis, short tennis, walking football, and multi sports. To find out when our next session is please go to the events section below.

‘one-off’ Activity Introduction sessions

We offer bespoke group activity sessions to specific groups such as community, church or support groups that already meet regularly. We encourage sport or physical activity as part of their programme. This could be a kurling, Boccia, bowls or table tennis session. As they are ‘one-offs’ they do not appear on the regular programme and details of these will be found on our events list below.

6 week Taster Courses

We offer courses in a specific sport, an example of which is our current archery taster courses. We don’t require you to commit to all six sessions – you can just ‘pay and play’. This gives you a chance to learn a new sport in a friendly, sociable and non- threatening environment. These do cost money however and the charges vary depending on the sport. Details of any upcoming taster courses will be found in the event section below.

friendly competitions

Recently ActivIpswich has organised a number of friendly competitions particularly in kurling, boccia and badminton.

ActivLives Community Games

In the summer of 2016 we held the first ActivLives Community Games. This is a fun day of social and accessible multi – sports run along a vaguely ‘Olympic style’ format. Contact us if you would like to get involved in the next one!

Our Staff

Mike McCarthy

ActivIpswich Project Manager

I have been working with ActivLives on the ActivIpswich project since August 2014. I love the job – the people who come along to our sessions are brilliant and despite being a project for people who don’t think of themselves as being ‘sporty’, so many of our participants realise that they really enjoy sport and physical activity once they start to get involved.
After completing a BA (Hons) in Human Movement and Education at Christ Church College Canterbury I was lucky enough to work for the YMCA in London and Ipswich on their Sport, Fitness and Play programmes. During this time I completed an MA in Recreation and Leisure Studies at the Polytechnic of North London.
From 1991 until 2009 I was a Lecturer in Sport and Leisure at Suffolk New College, a job that I really enjoyed and in 2010 I took on the Project Officer role as part of the Suffolk 2012 Volunteering Legacy Project – another great job!
I like to travel and I have been lucky enough to be able to spend short periods of time in South Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia volunteering on various sport and education projects.

Sophie Barber

ActivIpswich ActivAtor

I began working for Activlives as part of the ActivIpswich hub in September 2016.

After my ‘A’ Levels I went to De Montfort University Bedford to study a BEd (Hons) degree in Physical Education and Geography (Secondary).  I then proceeded to spend 12 years as a teacher in Education, firstly at a Private school in Ipswich, then six years at Westbourne Sports College where I was responsible for ‘A’ Level PE and finally five years at ‘One’ Sixth form College, teaching ‘A’ Level Sport Psychology and BTEC Sport before deciding on a change of career.

In 2015 I began working self employed as a sports massage therapist and also helping a young lady with a spinal injury to learn to walk again. In September of 2016 I began working for ActivIpswich three days a week as well as continuing my sports massage and a little bit of teaching too!

I thoroughly enjoy every minute of working for ActivLives and tell everyone I have the best job in the world!  It is so rewarding to see people happy, smiling, having social interaction and a support network around them, and of course keeping active. I will never forget a participant saying to me that he wished he could bottle the feeling he gets from coming along to the sessions, so he could share it with others and also for those lonely times at home. It is so rewarding to know you are part of making a positive difference to peoples’ lives.

In my down time I enjoy playing sport and keeping active by playing cricket for a local ladies team and Stand Up Paddle Boarding (preferably at the beach)!  I also have two boys that keep me on my toes… especially when I’m freezing cold on the side-line at their football matches!

Glenn Bartholomew

ActivIpswich Instructor

Following forty years in the IT Industry I decided to change careers and become a personal trainer 5 years ago.

In April 2012 I gained my personal training certification to Level 3 Register of Exercise Professionals.

I have been fortune to be in demand as a personal trainer ever since and delivered over 3,750 hours of personal training, goal setting and achievements with an endless number of referenceable clients.

I started working with ActivLives 12 months ago and realize just what an important job they do in helping people become more involved in their local community while improving their fitness and smiling while they do it! Working with ActivLives and our clients is incredibly rewarding and offers new challenges both to me and our clients every day.

Upcoming Activities

Click on an event below to find out more details


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ActivLives is a local charity, which relies on grants, trusts, donations, fundraising activities, sponsorship & commissions to enable us to provide & develop our services across Ipswich & Suffolk.