Exercise Referral Scheme | Kent Sport

Exercise Referral Scheme

The Exercise Referral Scheme is designed to promote physical activity for people who have an existing health condition and are physically inactive. 

Our qualified and experienced Exercise Referral team at the University of Kent Sports Centre will provide support to you during a structured 12-week exercise programme. 

Do you have one of these health conditions?

You will need to be over 19 years old to join the Exercise Referral programme, and have at least one of the following conditions:

  • Have a recurring illness or chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, heart conditions (heart attack, heart surgery, and angina), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint or muscle conditions, mental health, pulmonary diseases, and epilepsy
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 25
  • Are not exercising and would benefit from a structured 12 week personal exercise programme
  • Wishing to return to exercise after an injury or illness
  • Menopause

Exercise Referral pricing

The Exercise Referral Scheme is available to everyone, and a minimum of Kent Sport Pay to Play membership is required before starting the programme. Pay to Play membership is free, and you can sign up either through our online booking system or at reception.  

  • star

    Premium Plus members


  • dumbbell

    Plus members


  • coin-pound

    Pay to Play and non-members


Tom Horn - Exercise Referral Scheme patient

"I really enjoy going to the sports centre and to be honest it is the highlight of my week. I never thought that it would be possible for me to go to a gym and I was always very envious of my mates that could. I have really appreciated all the help and guidance that the staff have given me and their eagerness and creativity in finding new activities for me to try. In particular, on a Tuesday when I have Liz, I regard these as my best days because they are my hardest and she always encourages me to reach my full potential. When I first started going to the sports centre I was arguably in the worst physical condition that I have ever been in - my right arm was locked into my body and was incredibly stiff in comparison to my left side - this has now all changed after a few months. I was also unable to move forward in my wheelchair but recently I am able to move my back away from the backrest whilst pulling on a machine. I never thought that any of this would be possible prior to attending the sports centre.

I would also like to add that I have a much more positive view of my body image and the increasing strength that I now have is enabling me to be much more independent (I used to have to get my mum up a few times a night to reposition me in bed but now I have the strength to do this myself!).

I could not have achieved any of this without the staff at the sports centre and their positive and encouraging approach.’

“I cannot recommend the exercise referral scheme highly enough. It has given me a new perspective of how important exercise is when recovering from surgery. Before my hip replacement, I needed to have physiotherapy regularly due to back and hip pain. Post op, I was struggling with the pain and coming to terms with such a big operation that hadn’t gone quite to plan. But with Liz’s rehab programme and excellent support from Vicky’s physiotherapy, I feel in the best place mentally and physically than I have done in many years. 

The referral scheme which offers me 12 weeks of support, for £60, is the best money I have ever spent. I tell all my customers about the referral scheme as said above, I cannot recommend it enough!”

Lucy Galt, Exercise Referral Scheme patient

Frequently Asked Questions

What support will I get?

A member of our Exercise Referral team will meet with you for an initial consultation, where they will discuss your medical history questionnaire, exercise history, nutrition questionnaire, and a diary to help get you started with your programme.

Please come dressed in comfortable clothes that are appropriate for exercise as you will be shown the equipment in the gym. 

Once you have completed the initial consultation, you will then be able to use the gym to complete your prescribed programme.   

Then, throughout the 12-week programme, you can discuss your progress, diet advice and general well being with your Exercise Referral instructor.

At the end of the scheme, you will have a final appointment with your Exercise Referral instructor, where you can discuss your progress and how you are going to continue your new, healthier lifestyle.

Who should I talk to about the Scheme?

If you think you're eligible, please talk to your GP, practice nurse or health advisor for a referral. You can also be referred by specialist NHS services, local health trainers and local public health services.

The medical professional will send us a referral form, or you can email your referral form to Liz Coult e.l.coult@kent.ac.uk

Download the referral form here (PDF, 200kb)

When are appointments available?

Initial Exercise Referral consultations are currently available at the following times:

Tuesday: 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, and 2.30pm

Wednesday: 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, and 2.30pm

How do I book my initial Exercise Referral consultation? 

  1. You can book your initial consultation online, or by calling reception on 01227 823623
  2. Please complete the Referral form (PDF, 200kb), save and return to e.l.coult@kent.ac.uk before the appointment. It is an editable document so no need to print
  3. If you have any difficulties with booking online, please call us and we can arrange your appointment

Once you have completed the initial consultation, you will then be able to use the cardio or resistance/weights equipment in the gym to complete your prescribed programme. 

Please ensure that you cancel any appointments you cannot attend through your online account.

Meet the team

Liz Coult is the Exercise Referral Coordinator for Kent Sport and holds the following qualifications:

  • BACR Cardiac Rehab
  • LEVEL 4 Obesity and Diabetes
  • Level 3 Personal Trainer
  • Level 3 GP Referral Instructor
  • Exercise Nutrition
  • YMCA Exercise and Disability
  • Pilates and exercise to music instructor