A new sports programme for adults promises to put the fun back into staying fit and healthy. Laura Bonnici speaks with SportsAdultz founder EDWARD MERCIECA to find out more.

With reports of increasing levels of anxiety and depression, amid social isolation and limited opportunities for exercise, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on everyone’s health, fitness and well-being.

Now, a timely new sports programme aims to help adults across Malta address this. SportsAdultz has been recently launched by Edward Mercieca, the founder of the popular programme for children, SportsKidz.

Taking the same concept from the children’s version of fuelling an active lifestyle with fun, Mercieca now hopes to redefine the way adults approach fitness.

“This all-inclusive programme is for those who want to stay fit while having a good laugh,” he explains.

“We avoid the over-training usually associated with sport, focusing instead on helping participants to develop at their own pace and explore healthy living in a non-competitive, friendly and fun environment. You don’t need to be into sports to enjoy SportsAdultz.”

Everyone deserves the chance to stay fit and healthy in a family environment where there is no judgement

The programme introduces adults of all ages and abilities to different types of sports, as well as various exercise movements and team-building activities. Participants have the chance to play 12 sports including handball, football, golf, judo, tennis, table tennis, badminton, basketball, cricket, hockey, rugby and volleyball.

Each weekly one-hour session – led by expert coaches – also includes a series of warm-up games and team-building events to help participants bond with an extra feel-good factor.

“I realised that many adults – particularly those around the age of 40 – want to stay active, but do not have many options beyond working out and the gym,” Mercieca continues.

“In SportsAdultz, I wanted to create something else for them that is fun, social and not a chore; where they can try something new and have a laugh among friends. Everyone deserves the chance to stay fit and healthy in a family environment where there is no judgement. And best of all, with the laughter comes all the health benefits of fitness too.”

According to studies, people who engage in an active lifestyle have better mobility, a strengthened immunity, lower cholesterol levels and are less at risk of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and dementia. The rewards of fitness also extend to improved strength, balance and flexibility.

Sport has also been shown to bring a sense of achievement and satisfaction, as well as improved self-confidence, communication skills, teamwork and a lowered risk of depression.

Meanwhile, the social aspect of the programme offers another layer of health-related benefits, as Mercieca notes.

“Humans need other humans. Our mood depends on having something to take our mind off the stresses of daily life and break up the week with something to look forward to beyond work and sleep. The pandemic has taken away so much for us as humans, including this vital part of our well-being. SportsAdultz offers a safe and healthy way to interact with others again. Laughing among friends can lift the spirit, particularly at a time when most of us really need that boost.”

SportsAdultz starts from October 4, with sessions on Mondays at 6-7pm and 7-8pm at Immaculate Conception School, Tarxien, and on Thursdays at 6-7pm and 7-8pm at Maria Regina College, Middle School, Naxxar. All sessions adhere to current COVID-19 guidelines. Participants can choose their preferred time or location for their one weekly hour-long session.

For more information and to register, visit www.facebook. com/sportskidzmalta, e-mail edward@sportskidz.com.mt or call on 7942 2054.

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