Summer of fun for under 16s as GLL launches free junior play cards

Social enterprise GLL has launched free ‘Pay and Play’ membership cards for all registered school aged children across Belfast.

The gym and leisure operator, which runs 15 centres in partnership with Belfast City Council, is offering reduced-cost access to children and teenagers as they finish school for the summer holidays.

With the prospect of a summer getaway off the cards for many families, GLL hopes to make physical exercise and leisure a more inclusive, accessible, and affordable option for children aged between five and 15 across the city.

Valid across Belfast, the membership cards are free of charge and will entitle children to up to 30% off all ‘Pay and Play’ activities, including swimming, junior gym sessions, football, badminton and tennis.

Ava Burns, Fianna Fryers, Holly Holden, Grainne O’Brien and Mia Toal kickstart their summer at Andersonstown Leisure Centre

It also includes access to the Aqua Park at Andersonstown Leisure Centre, home to three world class water slides and Northern Ireland’s only Surf Simulator.

Over 60,000 children are eligible to register for the cards, which will be available for use all year round. GLL is encouraging young people to enjoy a summer of leisure and fun to kickstart a healthy lifestyle and advises any Belfast school children without an address in the city to register using the postcode of their school.

A social enterprise committed to transforming local communities towards ultimately healthier lifestyles, GLL has launched ‘Pay and Play’ as part of Belfast City Council’s ten-year plan to get more people, more active, more often through the £105m Leisure Transformation Programme.

Regional Director of GLL Gareth Kirk, said: “This is a fantastic investment for school children right across Belfast. GLL is thrilled to be able to offer this as part of our commitment to engage with local communities and welcome more people into our centres.

Eamon O’Mallon and Holly Holden ready to surf at Andersonstown Leisure Centre

“With leisure back open for business and new state-of-the-art facilities at Andersonstown and Lisnasharragh up and running, the ‘Pay and Play’ membership will give children the opportunity to use our incredible new centres and really benefit from transformed leisure provision across the city.

“Though children under five can currently swim for free at any of the centres across Belfast, the ‘Pay and Play’ cards make having fun and keeping active even more affordable. Our centres are aimed at people of all ages and abilities, however giving more children the chance to enjoy physical exercise is a top priority for GLL.”

Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl, added: “It is great to see membership cards for the under 16s being introduced as they will encourage our children to live more active, healthier lifestyles. Belfast City Council’s £105 million Leisure Transformation Programme demonstrates our commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of our citizens. In the spirit of inclusivity, it is vital that our five-star facilities are affordable to everyone, particularly kids from less affluent backgrounds.

“With the reopening of gyms and swimming pools in recent months and with schools soon finishing for the summer, the timing is good. I am sure the uptake will be high, and this will ultimately lead to long-term health benefits and social outcomes for the city.”

All eligible school children can sign up for their card online via and collect their cards at their local Better leisure centre.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Thank you