Last Friday our Sporting Chance project marked its third birthday with a lunchtime party at the Riverside football stadium (Legend’s Lounge) in Middlesbrough.

Sporting Chance is a volunteer project that enables men aged 50+ to improve their health and wellbeing, meet new friends and develop new skills and interests through a broad programme of sport and exercise classes and social events. Over the past three years, more than 500 men in Middlesbrough took part, attending more than 18,000 activity sessions in total.

Gill Watson, Project Development Office for Sporting Chance, said: “We all had such a fantastic time at the Sporting Chance birthday party. It was wonderful to see how much the participants and volunteers have gained from the project over the past few years.”

Oonagh Aitken, Chief Executive of Volunteering Matters, said: “Sporting Chance is a truly inspiring project that addresses a key social need in Middlesbrough, where health inequalities are large and social isolation is far too common.

I’m also delighted that we are now able to replicate the Sporting Chance project in Stockton-on-Tees. I’m confident that these communities will benefit hugely from this project, and look forward to meeting new volunteers and watching these new projects progress.”