BH Live’s City Games inspires young people into sport

One hundred and twenty pupils, aged 7-8 years old, recently came together to participate in BH Live’s annual City Games hosted at Portsmouth’s Mountbatten Leisure Centre.

Now in its second year, the City Games is a joint initiative funded by the charitable social enterprise and supported by Portsmouth College and Portsmouth School Sports Partnership.

The aim is to encourage young people to try out different sports such as basketball, multi-skills (running, jumping and throwing), junior gym, tennis and dance. Competitors are rewarded for displaying positive sporting behaviors such as passion, determination, honesty, teamwork and respect.

The City Games is a one-day event bringing together pupils from Wimborne Junior School, The Flying Bull Academy, Meon Junior School, St Judes C of E Primary School, Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, Newbridge Junior School, Fernhurst Junior School and Isambard Brunel Junior School.

It is free for schools to attend and prizes include a trophy and family activity sessions such as Clip ‘n Climb and swimming.

BH Live’s Community Sports Development Manager and City Games organiser, Lizzie Butcher, explains how she hopes this event could have an impact on the future health and wellbeing of the City. She says:

“Being more active and engaged in sport has lots of great benefits on a person’s physical, social and mental wellbeing. And if children are motivated to participate in regular activity from a young age they are more likely to carry on into adult life.

“We know however that not everybody gets the opportunity to try a sport or take part. And some can become disengaged if they are not selected to be in clubs or teams. So by working together with local schools we are reaching out to youngsters, of all abilities, and reengaging them with sport – showing them what great fun it can be to take part – which will hopefully initiate continued interest and future participation.”

Madeleine Campbell, Portsmouth School Sport Partnership Manager and School Games organiser, supports the City Games initiative as it helps to engage children with different activities. She explains how it also supports the national School Games programme which enables children to compete at the correct level and potentially represent their school and/or district in a variety of sports. She says:

“BH Live’s City Games complements the School Games programme as it enables children to try a variety of new activities and gives them information on where to go if they would like to develop new skills in a community setting. By involving local community groups, to lead the activities, barriers to participation have been broken down.”

Katie Harrison, Teacher of Sport at Portsmouth College added:

“It is always a pleasure to work with the local community and be involved in another successful event. It was a fantastic opportunity and experience for our Portsmouth College Sports Leaders to enhance their leadership skills by delivering activities to 120 young people. The Leaders were exceptional. Many of them are considering a career in coaching or teaching young people. Events like the City Games really help them to gain confidence in their delivery, as well as opportunities to work with, and learn from successful professionals within the industry.”

BH Live’s City Games event will take place again next year and any schools who are interested in participating should contact BH Live at


Notes to Editors:

Photo-caption: Pupils from Wimborne Junior School at BH Live’s City Games held at Mountbatten Leisure Centre (Portsmouth)

For more information about BH Live please contact:

Elizabeth Symmons, PR & Corporate Communications Executive
T: (01202) 055562

About BH Live

BH Live is a leading operator of leisure and event venues; a social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives.

With more than five million visits a year we are changing lives and are at the heart of the UK’s growing social economy. In 2018/19 we had 4.5 million leisure centre attendances, hosted more than 500 events and sold over half a million cultural, sporting and entertainment event tickets. We also welcomed 52,500 conference and exhibition delegates.

This generated an estimated £42 million in local economic benefit.

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Get social with us: LinkedIn, Twitter @BHLIVE_UK and Facebook @SocialEnterpriseBHLive

BH Live operates the following venues in partnership with Portsmouth City Council:

  • Mountbatten Leisure Centre – Portsmouth’s flagship leisure and event venue with a national-class 50m swimming pool, 150 station gym, eight-court sports hall, squash, spin and dance studios, a cycle velodrome, athletics track, function suites with bars, a café and soft play facility. It is also home to a Clip ‘N Climb leisure attraction which opened in 2018.

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Get social with us: Twitter and Facebook @mountbattenlc

  • Pyramids Centre – one of Portsmouth’s leading entertainment and leisure venues overlooking Southsea beach and the Solent. It has fun pools, flumes, a wave machine and a three-level soft play adventure world. There is also a multipurpose gym, 70+ weekly group exercise classes and a spa.

It also hosts regular live music events, conferences, exhibitions.

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Get social with us: Twitter @PyramidsCentre @PyramidsLive @bhlivetickets

Facebook @Pyramids.Centre @PyramidsLive @bhlivetickets

  • Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre – state-of-the-art gymnastics hall, physiotherapy room and meeting room.

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Get social with us: Facebook @PortsmouthGymnasticsCentre

  • Portsmouth Tennis Centre – A 10 court tennis facility in the north of Portsmouth consisting of four indoor courts and six floodlit outdoor courts. A comprehensive tennis coaching programme caters for all ages and abilities and is the area’s hub of accessible tennis. The programme runs sessions for tots, juniors, adults and also includes variations of the sport such as cardio tennis and touch tennis.

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Get social with us: Twitter @PortsTennis and Facebook @PortsmouthTC

  • Eastney Swimming Pool – 20m swimming pool and a spectator area.

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Get social with us: Facebook @EastneyPool

  • Wimbledon Park Sports Centre – 20 station gym, five badminton courts, basketball court and sports hall.

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Get social with us: Facebook @WimbledonParkSportsCentre

  • Charter Community Sports Centre – 20m swimming pool, 20 station gym, sports hall and an outdoor multi-use games area.

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Get social with us: Facebook @CharterCommunitySC