Date: 29 Jun 2021
Category: Leisure, Things to do
Free ‘Pay and Play’ leisure centre membership cards are now available for children across Belfast.
The membership cards entitle registered school-aged children to up to 30% off all ‘Pay and Play’ activities, including swimming, junior gym sessions, football, badminton and tennis at any Better centre in the city. It also includes access to the aqua park at Andersonstown Leisure Centre, home to Northern Ireland’s only surf simulator.
The initiative aims to make physical exercise and leisure a more inclusive, accessible, and affordable option for children aged between five and 16 as they finish school for the summer holidays.
Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl said: “It is great to see membership cards for the under 16s being introduced as they will encourage our children to live more active, healthier lifestyles.
“Belfast City Council’s £105 million Leisure Transformation Programme demonstrates our commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of our citizens. In the spirit of inclusivity, it is vital that our five-star facilities are affordable to everyone, particularly kids from less affluent backgrounds.
“With the reopening of gyms and swimming pools in recent months and with schools soon finishing for the summer, the timing is good. I am sure the uptake will be high, and this will ultimately lead to long-term health benefits and social outcomes for the city.”
Regional Director of GLL Gareth Kirk said: “This is a fantastic investment for school children right across Belfast. GLL is thrilled to be able to offer this as part of our commitment to engage with local communities and welcome more people into our centres.
“With leisure back open for business and new state-of-the-art facilities at Andersonstown and Lisnasharragh up and running, the ‘Pay and Play’ membership will give children the opportunity to use our incredible new centres and really benefit from transformed leisure provision across the city.
“Though children under five can currently swim for free at any of the centres across Belfast, the ‘Pay and Play’ cards make having fun and keeping active even more affordable. Our centres are aimed at people of all ages and abilities, however giving more children the chance to enjoy physical exercise is a top priority for GLL.”
Over 65,000 children are eligible to register for the cards, which can be used all year round. Social enterprise GLL, who operate Belfast leisure centres on behalf of Belfast City Council, is advising any Belfast school children without an address in the city to register using the postcode of their school.
All eligible school children can sign up for their card on the Better website and collect their cards at their local Better leisure centre.