New exercise sessions help New Parks residents to keep moving

DPCC Rani Mahal with Daniel Powel GNR8 Academy Head Coach

Free sports and exercise sessions are launching in New Parks next month thanks to a project backed by Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews.

The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner is investing more than £5,600 into a project run by GNR8 Academy as part of his commitment to supporting People Zones.  The project is designed to promote better mental health.

There is a People Zone in New Parks, Bell Foundry, and Thringstone and Whitwick.  Each Zone was identified as in need of additional support to help tackle localised problems and to prevent the disruption of community life from crime and antisocial behaviour.

There are currently three People Zones across the force area: Bell Foundry, New Parks and Thringstone and Whitwick.

Over the next 12 months, GNR8 Academy will provide free sports and exercise sessions in the New Parks People Zone to promote good physical and mental health. The scheme will also encourage people to build their social networks and share any problems in a non-judgemental environment.

The project is one of nine People Zone schemes to secure a share of almost £60k over the next 12 months as part of the Commissioner’s plans to help communities prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.

Mr Matthews said: “I know that mental health and wellbeing is important to people.  Our own research highlighted a gap in support for those already experiencing mental illness in New Parks and this is an area I am keen to address.

“I am proud to be working with GNR8 Academy to bring these sessions to the area. The mental health benefits of exercise are well-known - physical activity is a powerful motivation tool and is a great way to manage stress, anxiety and depression.

“By helping people to make positive life changes and choices, we will improve community safety, cut crime and reduce demand on the police.

“This project is a shining example of how People Zone communities are working creatively and proactively to address health, education and other life issues. 

“I know these sessions will be a welcome addition for all residents, regardless of their level of fitness.”

The new sessions open in September 2023 and people can register online at: Alternatively, visit the Academy (located next door to New Parks College) for more information and to register an interest.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Rani Mahal recently visited the Academy to learn about the project.  View the video here:



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Posted on Wednesday 30th August 2023
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