Coca-Cola recently kicked off a summer of free sport for all with the launch of Coca-Cola Zero ParkLives in London.

Coca-Cola Zero ParkLives
Batter up!

The new program is dedicated to getting people moving by trying out a range of fun, free activities in the heart of local communities: parks. This summer, thousands of sessions led by local coaches will take place in more than 70 public parks across Great Britain.

Set on a beautiful sunny day in Stratford Park in Newham – close to London’s Olympic Stadium – the high-profile launch event saw London’s charismatic Mayor Boris Johnson celebrate ParkLives with his trademark energy and enthusiasm. Jon Woods, general manager, Coca-Cola Great Britain, and Dan Sayre, president of Coca-Cola North West Europe & Nordics, showed the mayor around the park, where hundreds of families were taking part in activities ranging from Zumba, to tennis, cricket and tai-chi.

Not to miss out on the fun, Johnson showed off his softball and boxing skills. The event was covered by national and local media, including The Evening Standard and BBC London.

Teaming up with FreeSport

At the launch, Coca-Cola Great Britain announced a new partnership with the Greater London Authority to get even more people active over the coming years. This will see Coca-Cola and the Mayor of London each donate £500,000 to the FreeSport program, providing grants to community groups and sport clubs to set up free activities for Londoners of all ages to encourage more people to try sports. The backing will help FreeSport double its reach to get more than 34,000 people active through 600 projects over the next two years. The program specifically targets those who don’t normally have access to sports.

Coca-Cola Zero ParkLives
The mayor joined hundreds of families who took part in activities ranging from Zumba, to tennis, cricket and tai-chi.

“FreeSport has been incredibly popular since launching in 2009, giving thousands of people the chance to develop a sporting habit that will stay with them for life,” Johnson said.

Woods added, “We want to inspire people to get active in a fun and engaging way that fits in with their life. Coca-Cola Zero ParkLives and the FreeSport program encourage people of all ages to try something new and take part in psychical activities that are free, fun and sociable.”

Coca-Cola Zero ParkLives and FreeSport are a key part of Coca-Cola Great Britain's commitment to invest £20 million to get 1 million people in the UK active by 2020. These programs run alongside long-standing partnerships with grassroots sports organizations including StreetGames and Special Olympics GB.

Launched in 2009, FreeSport is part of the Mayor of London’s Sport Legacy Program. FreeSport allows sports clubs, organizations, youth groups and community groups apply for grants of up to £1,500. The grants are used to run free activities that will encourage people to take up sports on a regular basis. To date, more than 330,000 Londoners of all ages and abilities benefited from the program. The Harrow Squash Club recently received £1,021 FreeSport funding that will help them introduce the sport to mums, single parents and people who aren’t particularly active.