There are lots of reasons people are put off getting fit, and just lack the motivation to try. I think this is especially true in these cold months. Trying to find time to regularly attend a gym, or worried about body shape, family commitments and money, I think are probably high up there in the list of reasons. I know they are in mine, especially trying to manage a family of 6, with two of the boys having special needs. I was therefore delighted to hear about SPOGO.
Who are SPOGO?
SPOGO is a not for profit project (Sport England) run by ukactive and funded by the Lottery. They aim to help people (and families) find the motivation to keep fit and active, by being involved in sports and physical activities. Did you know that being inactive shortens the lifespan by 3-5 years*? There are now over 110,000 facilities, clubs, events and activities available, listed on SPOGO’s smart new digital searchable database – making it easy to find something local to you. There’s also advice, resources, health & fitness plans and find a buddy.
What does SPOGO Cover?
There are a wide range of sports and leisure providers listed, which could help you to try something new? I think that sometimes having a fun way to stay active is a better motivator than knowing that you should stay active. The cost of inactivity is £1bn in direct costs to the NHS across the UK (National Statistics on Obesity, physical activity and Diet England,’ 2013)*. There is a cycling widget, to help plan your cycling route – very useful for those helping out Team Honk for Sports Relief! They also have a parasport widget to help those with disabilities.
SPOGO at Snozone
We were invited to a bloggers event down at Snozone in Milton Keynes, which has over 1500 tonnes of snow, which was being kept cold at minus 6 degrees! More than 2 ½ million people have used the Snozone indoor slopes to practice snowsports all year round* with 1 session on the slopes can burn over 300 calories*.
What was Snozone like for our family?
Firstly I’d like to say that everyone involved with both SPOGO and Snozone were amazing, they really looked after us and did an amazing job. There’s 6 of us, 2 of the children have special needs, and the youngest 2 are also quite close in age. If I’m really honest though, the biggest factor was probably my anxiety – when it comes to flight or fight I tend to run. I hate new things and worry that I can’t do them. We were all complete novices and had never even put on a ski-boot before! This was a challenge in itself and I almost cried that I couldn’t do something so simple! But Si (our family instructor), just came and helped me, he didn’t make me feel stupid just helped. Incidentally I couldn’t even really jump, but did feel more confident by the end of the training.
As it was our first time it made no difference, but if there are mixed abilities in the group you have to work at the lowest level for health and safety. We had a second instructor because our family was big, but it is a good job as our youngest needed one-to-one the whole time (because of his special needs) and Jess did an amazing job – again we cannot thank her enough. There is no way we could have taken all of our children skiing on our own (when he was refusing to stand up it would have just pulled me over) – but it really is worth considering your options, and finding out what is available before you write-off the idea.
We learnt a lot, not only about skiing, but about the clothes too. I think it would be well worth visiting somewhere like Snozone before going off on holiday somewhere. I know I got too hot, so needed less, and that my gloves were not suitable. Also if you fancied just having a go at something – it was one day of fun but I could tell that I was being very active. We hired everything we needed from the venue (apart from gloves for health and safety) – so there were no initial costs to outlay, especially if we had decided that we never wanted to do it again.
I think that it would make a good gift idea too – especially good for those children ages 10 and above, who may be a little more difficult to buy for. I’m sure both my 2 older children (especially) would appreciate going again, if not lessons.
Also the zooming down a hill on a tray could be done at home – if we just get some decent snow!
Snozone for Christmas
I liked the idea that we are just breaking into thinking about Christmas, so going somewhere with guaranteed snow was a fantastic idea. But I’ve looked on the website and there’s an AMAZING visit from Father Christmas with his reindeer – on the snow!
Visit https://spogo.co.uk/ and find out where you nearest activities are.
* information provided by SPOGO Blogger Family Day out providers.
We were invited to a free blogger event at Snozone with SPOGO – all thoughts and opinions are my own.