Games all of their own

Gentoo staff ready to play netball
Gentoo staff ready to play netball
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A WEARSIDE firm’s workers got into the Olympic spirit.

The Gentoo Games saw staff from the housing provider participating in a range of events such as tennis, netball, table tennis and a fun run.

Staff also had the opportunity to participate in free taster classes at Virgin Active Health and Racquet Club.

Pilates, yoga, Zumba and spinning activities were all involved and some staff attended a free boot camp run by Fitness Camp Academy.

But it was a five-a-side football tournament that proved the most popular, with more than 100 staff members participating in the kickabout at Goals Soccer Centre, in Durham Road.

Philip Meek, neighbourhood operations manager at Gentoo Sunderland, who helped to organise the football 
tournament, said: “It was great to see people from all parts of Gentoo come together and replicate the spirit of the games in a well contested football tournament.

“The games were well-played and refereed by Gentoo staff and many have said they would like to do it again.”

The sport extravaganza was part of a campaign called Happy, Healthy and Here which aims to educate and signpost staff to health services and programmes to enable staff to be happier, healthier and more engaged; in their life both at home and work.

The campaign is run in partnership with the NHS North East Better Health at Work Award, which celebrates the commitment of employers improving the health of their workplaces and their employees.

Gentoo was awarded bronze level last year and has just begun working towards achieving a silver award.

A team of health champions representing each area of the business has been set up to help promote the Happy, Healthy and Here campaign.

Julie Kelly, assistant chief executive at Gentoo, said: “We are delighted at the success of the campaign so far.

“It has been overwhelming to see 
hundreds of staff members engaging 
with the different activities that have 
been made available by our health champions.

“Gentoo understands the importance of our staff being happy and healthy and the positive knock-on effects this has within the workplace.”

Twitter: @davidallison88

British athletes will receive guaranteed funding of about £125million a year through to the Rio Olympics.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced this week he has authorised an extra £80million of Exchequer funding to UK Sport to give it certainty up to the 2016 Games.

That is less than the £60million of public money that the Olympic team received this year, but the proportion of funding from the National Lottery has increased under changes to its distribution brought in by the Government.

From next year the proportion of public funds to Lottery will be around one to two, with the taxpayer contributing £40million and the Lottery an estimated £80-87million.

Currently UK Sport only has certainty on its funding to April 2015.