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Make walking football your goal

FOOTBALLERS past the premiership of life can now enjoy the national sport of Walking Football in Bolton.

The USN Bolton Arena is starting sessions for the over 50s on Tuesday, November 10 and Thursday, November 12, from 2pm to accommodate the growing interest in this version of the beautiful game.

The one-hour sessions – with breaks when needed – are aimed at former players and anyone who just wants to improve their fitness enjoyably.

“Walking Football is increasingly popular and it’s exactly what it sounds like,” explained Arena Football Manager Marcus Brown. “It’s a standard game of five-a-side where players walk instead of running and it’s designed to help people get fit or maintain an active lifestyle no matter what their age or fitness.”

He added that the game has many benefits for older people who play including lower heart-rate and blood pressure, less fat and more muscle and better mobility.

“It can also offer social benefits – meeting new people, avoiding becoming isolated and interacting with individuals and small groups,” stated Mr Brown. “It’s also a good laugh and real fun!”

Walking Football was only invented six years ago and already has thousands of players around the country with 461 registered venues with the sport’s main body, Walking Football United. The competitive element is also increasing with many ex-players of all levels enthusiastically getting out their boots and brushing up on their skills.

The Bolton Arena sessions are just £2 each and players can attend individually or in teams. Marcus Brown also plans to allow progression if wanted, with jogging being introduced and possibly standard games.

“We have already had interest shown and I think it would be a great local addition to the sporting scene,” he stated.

* To find out more and to book call Football Manager, Marcus Brown on 01204 488106.


Networking event a hit with companies

Another fascinating cross-section of businesses and various organisations came together at last month’s Arena networking event.

The 50 or so attendees at the regular free event, which showcases local and regional businesses, included many companies which have made this a regular date in their diaries but also several businesses new to Arena networking.

Tony Hayes, who has his own Business For Breakfast networking groups over a wide area, stated “I’m enjoying this event. Networking is always a really good opportunity to make new contacts and I’ve met a lot of new people here today.”

For photographer Julie Lomax, it was also her first time at the Arena event. “Yes, networking is very useful and this event is already proving very interesting for me,” she said.

Deborah Grime from Office Depot was another networking enthusiast, and also a fan of the Arena event. “Networking is great,” she stated. “You meet and get to know so many people, here especially, and create valuable business contacts.”

And for Steve Holt from Craftprint, a regular at Arena networking, this provided another opportunity for “really getting to know people – and allowing them to find out more about you and the services you offer.”

* To find out more about the Arena’s free networking events, contact James Chapman on 01204 488112 or email


Craftprint new Arena sponsors

HORWICH-based company Craftprint is the latest business to become sponsors of the USN Bolton Arena.

Managing director Mr Andrew Tait – son of the firm’s original founder Mr Jack Tait – explained that, although the company had been involved with the Arena since it first opened, he wanted to take that involvement to a different level via sponsorship.

“The Arena provides a very great benefit to Horwich and the surrounding area,” he explained, “and we are happy to be part of that – especially alongside such well-known sponsoring companies as Stateside Foods and”

Like the Arena, Craftprint has grown and thrived since it first opened, adopting the latest technology in the digital print field and moving into promotional merchandising as just two examples of the company’s progress.

Craftprint’s sponsorship also means that it is the preferred supplier of leaflets to the Arena and its vibrant business village – just one more reason why sponsorship at the Arena makes so much sense.

* To find out more about Arena sponsorship opportunities call Marketing and B2B Account Executive James Chapman on 01204 488111 or email

Christmas Opening Times

Christmas and New Year opening times are:

Wednesday, December 23rd – normal opening

Thursday, December 24th – 8am to 6pm,

Friday, December 25th – CLOSED,

Saturday, December 26th – CLOSED,

Sunday, December 27th – 8am to 6pm,

Monday, December 28th – 8am to 6pm,

Tuesday, December 29th – 8am to 6pm,

Wednesday, December 30th – 8am to 6pm,

Friday, January 1st – CLOSED,

Saturday, January 2nd – normal opening.

* For more details about the gym call 01204 488118. 

Room for a bargain

THE USN Bolton Arena has proved to be a great place for staging business events, conferences and meetings of every size.

Not only does it have terrific transport links with the train station a short walk from its front door and the M61 motorway nearby, but it also offers flexible meeting and event spaces.

And the good news is that we’re having our very own January Sale to offer even better value to our clients.

There’s 25% off full room hire in January, 8am until 5pm. This means that the Classroom, normally £320, is down to £240 for the month, the Conference room down to £120 from £160 and the Boardroom available for just £90 instead of £120. Just quote the Ref BAXMAS15 when booking.

• For more information about hiring rooms, including the main hall, during 2016, talk to Conference and Events Executive Hannah Mooney on 01204 488112 or email

Gift Ideas, Cash Rewards and Prizes

If you’re looking for some gift ideas, why not give the gift of fitness? A 3 month membership comes with a festive stocking packed with goodies, all of only £99 or £49 if you are buying it for a 14-17 year old.

You can also earn some Christmas cash and be in with the chance of winning an ipad by introducing friends, family and work colleagues to membership at Bolton Arena. For every member you introduce, you’ll get £20 and an entry into a prize draw to win an ipad. Ask our membership team for details. Conditions apply.

Training company with a sporting edge

AN unusual training company which definitely has The X Factor has just moved into the USN Bolton Arena.

Creative Sport and Leisure is a national company working with a variety of partners, including well-known names like the Premier Education Group, which has made its North-west base at the Arena.

It was set up to provide local communities with quality education, sporting, health and recreational activities through innovation and design.

These qualifications mostly cover the sporting field currently but the organisation – created 12 months ago as a subsidiary of Prospects College of Advanced Technology, the UK’s first new College of Further Education – does teach performing arts at its Essex base.

And one of its most successful current pupils is Louisa Johnson, the talented singer who has been riding high in the latest series of The X Factor.

“That area is certainly something we would like to start in the North-west in the future, possibly here at the Bolton Arena where as well as the sporting facilities there are plenty of suitable rooms and facilities,” explained Mr Dave Smith, Training Manager (North).

He stated that they were “delighted” with the Bolton Arena. Added Mr Smith: “When we chose the Arena, it wasn’t just about the excellent sporting facilities but also about its very good transport links with rail and motorway – it even has a Premier Inn just over the road!”

Creative Sport and Leisure partners with all kinds of companies, regionally and nationally. Stated Mr Smith: “The Government are really pleased with what we are doing in terms of passing funding on to employers as quickly as possible in order to train current and potential staff, with a view to increased employability skills and employment outcomes.”

* For more details about the company and its courses call 01204 488159 or go to

Meet The Staff: Stewart Jones

NAME: Stewart Jones

AGE: 57

JOB: Gym instructor

CAREER PATH: “I was always interested in football and sports. I joined the Armed Forces and became a Physical Training Instructor (PTI). I was stationed in Germany and when I came out of the Forces I had my own sports business in Germany. When I returned to the UK in 1995, I became a police officer, finishing there in 2013. I did a Personal Trainer course and also trained in sports therapy, sports massage and sports injuries. I’m also a coach in nine different disciplines including gymnastics and athletics. I’d been a member at the Arena since it opened and became a part-time instructor here two years ago. I’m a keen runner and also have an events’ company built around running.”

FAVOURITE AREA OF THE GYM: I really like the free weights. This is quite unusual for a runner but I find that it helps me balance my body as running tends to use major muscle groups only. I also use the running track here each week.

BEST THING ABOUT WORKING AT THE ARENA: The atmosphere here is great. I’ve worked part-time in other gyms but there is a really good crew here in the Arena gym, and the members are so friendly.”

Head for the gym this winter

AS temperatures drop, the nights draw in and Britain gets set for its usual wintry conditions, it’s the ideal time to come along and sample all the sports and fitness activities on offer at the USN Bolton Arena.

It’s probably more important than any other time of the year to get your regular gym visits in, explains Arena Health and Fitness Manager Glenn Carroll.

“It’s vital to look after your health during the Winter months and to keep as fit as you can to combat all the colds and flu around,” he stated. “While it’s important to have a sensible diet, building in a regular visit to the gym – and taking part in all the sports’ activities we have here – is an enjoyable way to keep well.

“Exercise needs to be part of your lifestyle all year round so it’s vital not to ‘hibernate’ but to get into the gym and keep yourself active. When some outdoor sports are just not possible, there’s the gym, classes and other indoor sports to keep you active through the winter.
“And it’s a great time to book in with one of our fitness instructors to get a new programme so that you’re at the peak of your fitness when the cold weather eventually goes,” added Glenn.

Glenn points out that not only does working out burn fat, build muscle strength, increase metabolism and keep our hearts healthy, but it can also actively fight off nasty diseases and illnesses. “There have been plenty of studies that show that exercise helps us to increase our immune systems – so important in Winter,” he adds.

Glenn stresses how important it is to “make time for the gym”, even in a busy schedule – “It’s just a great feeling when you’ve had a good workout and you know that you’re doing the best for yourself, mind and body.”

* For more information on any fitness matters, talk to any of the Arena fitness instructors on 01204 488118.

Marni’s a smash hit

THE International High Performance Tennis Academy based at the USN Bolton Arena is producing many stars of tomorrow.

And one of these is 13 year-old Marni Banks. She reached the semi-finals in the singles and won the doubles in the recent Nike Junior International Tennis Europe event in London.

Along the way to the semi-finals, she beat players from France, Finland and Latvia and this latest excellent performance means she is now ranked 169th in Europe with another year left of competing in that particular age-group.

In the months ahead, Marni plays at the Orange Bowl in Miami, where some of the best junior players in the world compete. Following this, she will play in Teen Tennis at Bolton and Tarbes in France – both of which are very high level junior tournaments with players from many nations competing.   

Commented Academy Tennis Manager, Stuart Kay; “Marni has a good work ethic and strives to get better each day whilst undergoing a heavy training schedule. She sets a good example to others through a positive attitude and love of playing tennis.

“Marni’s results have been encouraging but she understands it’s a tough journey ahead. It’s great to see Marni and other players of all ages in the Academy working so hard and trying to fulfil their potential.”   

* To find out more about the Arena’s Tennis Academy call Stuart Kay on 01204 488110 or email

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