A BASINGSTOKE charity is hoping to encourage people to get fit by offering 100 free week-long membership passes to Basingstoke Sports Centre in July.

Basingstoke Sports Trust will provide 100 people with full access to the swimming pools, a choice of around 100 different studio classes and access to the gyms at the centre, in Festival Place, with the aim of improving their health and wellbeing.

James Starbuck, chief executive of the trust, said: “A lot of people are really not sure what takes place at sport and leisure centres and perhaps think it’s not for them.

“These memberships are about giving people an opportunity to find out what activity they might enjoy without any strings whatsoever.”

The initiative is aimed at tackling the obesity crisis caused, in part, by inactivity.

Doctor Rob Walker, a GP at Gilles Health Centre, in Brighton Hill, said: “Regular activity and exercise is crucial to our health.

“Increasing activity and exercise levels have been shown to improve many problems – heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and arthritis, to name a few; in fact it is difficult to find a health problem that is not improved by getting more active.

“Turning around the increasingly sedentary lifestyles we are all living and getting more active is essential if we want to live healthier and happier lives.”

Memberships will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and is available to over 18s only.

For more information and to apply for your free week’s use of Basingstoke Sports Centre call 01256 302242 or email sales@sportscentre.org.uk, quoting freeme7.