FANS stands for Free Access for National Sports People and is a scheme designed to provide support to the county’s leading talented sports performers. The scheme provides nationally ranked sports people with free access to participating local authority and private leisure and sports facilities at designated times, for personal training and development.

To be eligible you must:

  • Currently be a members of a national team or squad OR listed within the top 10 nationally within your sport and
  • Be a resident or belong to a club within the participating borough in which you are applying to use FANS scheme

Which Boroughs are covered?

  • Basildon
  • Braintree
  • Colchester
  • Epping Forest
  • Maldon
  • Rochford
  • Southend on Sea
  • Tendring
  • Uttlesford

Details of the leisure and sports facilities which are included within these boroughs are listed on the following link – FANS-Facilities-List-with-Addresses.

What next?
Sports people accepted on the scheme will be provided with a photo ID membership card that must be shown at each facility on each occasion, to enable free access. This card will be valid for the entire year shown on the card. Each FANS member will be entitled to free training at facilities as agreed with facility staff, during designated times, when the facilities are open, and providing there is no disruption to other users and no additional cost is incurred by the facility e.g. floodlighting. If a coach is planning to accompany a FANS member under the age of 16, a letter of approval must be provided from the parents of the individual, or, the coach must provide proof of their attendance at a county Child Protection course.

Active Essex will stop accepting applications from October of that calendar year. Potentially members can send their applications for the following year in December ready for the new year.

How do I renew my membership?
The renewal process will start in November of each year where we will contact you and ask for updates of information and evidence of current eligibility. Once this is received, your FANS membership will be renewed for the following year.

Use of facilities
FANS members will be required to meet with facility staff prior to use, to agree areas to be used and times of usage. FANS members must follow the rules and operating procedures of each facility at all times. FANS members will be allowed one free training partner if the sport so requires and/or personal coach if appropriate. However, all instructors/coaches will be required to provide evidence of insurance cover when they first visit the centre. If FANS members intend to use fitness gym facilities, they will need to undertake an induction, which must be paid for. Please note that applicants in Braintree will also have to a pay £4 a year for a membership card for these facilities.

Data protection
This scheme is part of a countywide partnership between 10 Local Authorities in Essex and Active Essex, these are party to the complete information contained on the application form.

To apply:
Individuals apply by completing the FANS application form, which must include the following:

  • Evidence or confirmation of their performance level, which must be endorsed by the appropriate governing body of sport
  • 2 recent passport photographs of themselves.

This should be sent to Active Essex FANS scheme, E2 County Hall, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1QH.

All FANS applications are sent to the represented borough manager for the chosen facility/facilities to approve. Please be aware that applications are sent at the end of each month which its then down to the area manager to approve back to Active Essex.