RESIDENTS in Harwich played games and sport at the launch of a new, free project aimed at getting adults and children more active.

Trained team leaders from Active Essex ran the first ParkPlay supervised session at The Lighthouse Sports and Social Club in Lower Marine Parade, Dovercourt, on Saturday.

Families then were treated to hot drinks and cakes at the Lighthouse Café.

Karen Stimpson, local physical activity pilot coordinator for Tendring, who runs the project, said: “The launch of Park Play on Saturday was a great success.

“Despite the weather forecast, we had a great turn-out and it was great to see the group really enjoying the fun and games.

“Park Play is going to have a positive impact for the community in Harwich and we are excited to see how popular it will become.”

Alan Grant visited the first free session with his 3-year-old son Finley.

He said: “I came here today to see my 3-year-old son Finley get active.

“It's a good chance for him to play and meet other kids.

“ParkPlay is a very good idea for the local community.

"We need these initiatives to keep our kids healthy and active.”

ParkPlay, a Sport England and Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board funded project, is free for children and adults and aims at helping communities get active and healthy.

They take place in registered venues or parks, organised by qualified team leaders.

Ivan Henderson, mayor of Harwich, attended the Dovercourt launch.

He said: “I was really pleased to be at the ParkPlay launch and watch a great new project for Harwich go live.

“It was nice to see a good turnout, in spite of the bad weather, and I'm sure ParkPlay will be a big success in the coming months.”

ParkPlay will run every Saturday from 10am to 12noon at the Lighthouse Sports and Social Club, Lower Marine Parade, Dovercourt.

Anyone interested in joining should register online on the ParkPlay website at

For more details, call the Lighthouse Sports and Social Club on 01255 764586 or 07403 316735.