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Sports and physical activity

Whatever your age or level of ability, taking part in sport and physical activity can help improve your health and wellbeing.

Sport provides a fun way to meet people as well as improving your energy levels, flexibility, strength and balance. Regular exercise can also help prevent medical conditions such as type II diabetes, stress and cancer.

We work with a range of partners to increase sporting opportunities for all members of the community including:

The Lifestyle Hub (GP Exercise Referral - GPER)

The Exercise Referral Scheme (GPER) is administered by Bedford Borough Council's Sports Development team in partnership with the Lifestyle Hub. If you are looking to lead a healthier lifestyle by making some positive changes and wish to increase your physical activity levels, then speak to your GP and request a referral to the Lifestyle Hub. Providing you meet the criteria you will be invited to join the scheme which offers a range of different options at locations around Bedford, delivered by Fusion-Lifestyle and others.

There is a gym based exercise programme, currently available at Robinson Pools & Fitness; Kempston Pool; John Bunyan Sports & Fitness Centre; The University of Bedfordshire; and The Paula Radcliffe Sharnbrook Community Centre.

Alternatively we offer some non gym based physical activity sessions including a Sunday morning gentle exercise class at John Bunyan Sports & Fitness; daytime gentle swim sessions at Kempston Pool; and an evening relaxation swimming session at Robinson Pools  & Fitness. We also hope to add an Aquatone class at Kempston Pool.

The scheme lasts for 10 weeks and upon completion you will receive details of on-going physical activity opportunities at a discounted price.

For more information email sport@bedford.gov.uk

Walking Football 

Walking football is a weekly sociable group where people with dementia (or significant cognitive impairment) and their carers, friends and supporters can enjoy playing walking football in a supported setting.

The sessions take place on Mondays from 11:30am to 1pm at Bedford Athletics Stadium, MK41 9SB.

There is a suggested donation of £4 per person playing football.

Visit Tibbs Dementia Foundation for more information.

Sport Bedford

Sport Bedford works with us to distribute grants to fund the development of local talented sports people, disability sport and coaches.

Apply for sport funding:

Walking and cycling

Walking and cycling are both excellent forms of exercise and Bedford and the surrounding countryside are ideal for rambling and biking. Around 2,000 people in Bedford regularly cycle to work which is an ideal way to stay in shape and save money.

Visit our walking and cycling section to find out more and to access maps, guidance and information on local groups and guides. 

Safeguarding in sport

We are committed to keeping children safe in sport.

The NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit has lots of useful advice and guidance.

A – Z of sports clubs and centres

There are a wide range of sports clubs and organisations in Bedford Borough and the surrounding area.

Search the Bedfordshire and Luton Local Information Database to find sports opportunities to get involved with.