RECREATION IN SPORT - THE SPARK YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PLATFORM IN NIGERIA

Recreation in Sports

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In an era of extreme workplace stress, constant traffic and environmental pollution, inactive lifestyle as well as challenges of raising a family in a bustling African city like Lagos, recreation becomes an absolute necessity to provide that much needed balance for relaxation and social development.

– By Moyo Ogunseinde

As an Architect/Developer as well as a gymnastics mom, I came to realise the powerful effect of having a purpose-built space where children, parents and friends could come together in the pursuit of various physical activities that enhance their lifestyle.  The “need to do something for recreation” is a fundamental element of human biology and psychology and without it, life certainly starts to lack meaning and pleasure, leading to an overall decline in well-being.

When you bond with friends, co-workers, and family over a dodge ball or a football game, it comes with a myriad of benefits. This type of recreation increases feelings of well-being, decreases stress, blood pressure and incidents of life-threatening diseases and reduced truancy amongst the youth. A recent study showed that creating and promoting spaces to be physically active will improve individual and community health and result in an increase of residents who exercise at least three times per week with potential future sports champions being identified as well.

This is where a recreation centre such as ours, Upbeat recreation centre comes in. The Upbeat vision is to change the name of the game in recreational spaces, it is our imperative. As West Africa’s first Trampoline and recreation centre, we have been set up to provide this alternative lifestyle space that would positively impact and enhance the lives of families, children and communities in Africa. Essentially, we are filling the gap in the community for world class ground-breaking, fun and fitness sports centres that would engender fun, energy, innovation, excellence and safety with the brand values.

Imagine a community where a family, a work team, a group of friends can go destress, work up a sweat, and create indelible memories, with the added bonus of creating long lasting impression and true appreciation for the relationships and time spent together in a high performance world class facility. We have been able to provide the community a sense of belonging, pride and cohesion; creating opportunities for gatherings that go beyond age, gender and ability, thus adding value to the Lagos recreational space while thankfully, also exceeding our investments and revenue projections as envisioned during project feasibility.

In line with Lagos States mandate ‘to provide enduring infrastructural architecture that would ensure that the State’s tourism potentials are fully harnessed for all round economic growth and development’, Upbeat also serves as a viable tourist attraction for the state, given its wide range of awesome activities which include toddler time jumps, to group exercise, football and basketball leagues, trampoline free play, and wall climbing, Crazy karts etc.

These activities allow families to uniquely experience a more fulfilling life thus creating a whole generation of Children and a powerful vehicle for positive change in West Africa’s communities. We truly believe every African child has a right to live an ‘upbeat Life’ that’s well-balanced and through our guidance and mentorship, their dreams can be realized, improving the lives of communities that they live in, now and in the future.

So at Upbeat, we essentially aim to be a light house or beacon – shining the torch on social responsibility, whilst educating our community about health, nutrition, physical activity, mental health and general wellbeing. Without a doubt, I would say we need more Upbeat Spaces all over Nigeria and not only in Lagos, to truly foster a lasting culture of health and well-being.

More on mental health? Send us your questions here.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the Spark magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.



The Spark is a youth empowerment platform in Nigeria that projects the average Nigerian youth doing something, anything positive. Our mission is to reach out to as many youths, “EMPOWER and ENGAGE!!!


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