"Now we've been given help by Access Sport, that was our saviour".
Bringing development opportunities to young people 'at risk' through sport
Access Sport is delighted to announce that we have recently secured funding for the 2nd phase of the Sport 4 Change project from Comic Relief. The project will commence in the spring of 2014 and will be an extension of the fantastic work done in the 1st phase that finished in August this year.
In working with volunteer-led community sport clubs to create bespoke club development plans, Access Sport encourages clubs to engage with young people who are ‘at risk’ of educational failure, anti-social behaviour or crime. Targeting an early intervention age group of 8–16 years, where these sports clubs can demonstrate a real impact plus direction on a young person’s attitude and lifestyle choices.
The project has also engaged those aged 16 and over to help facilitate lifestyle change, helping to create positive young role models. This has also provided opportunities for them to progress in their own personal development and gain employability skills, including those in leadership, trust, communication and decision making.
The first phase of the project was hugely successful and saw the development of 10 community clubs in London and Bristol in areas such as building club capacity, expertise and partnerships in youth development, and to create pathways from the community sports clubs onto apprenticeships, employment and further educational opportunities.
Young people growing up in disadvantaged communities across the UK may not realise their full potential and miss out on opportunities that lead to a positive path in life. Many grow up on inner-city estates viewing negative activities such as gangs, drugs, and prostitution as a means to make a living. Youth development is part of every child’s progression to adulthood, enabling them to develop self-confidence, respect for others and aspirations to achieve. Through sport young people can gain key life skills, employability skills and even accreditations that enhance their opportunities of attending education, training and employment. Sport is also effective in early intervention, preventing youth crime and acting as a diversion for those already caught up in the criminal justice system.
We are currently planning the 2nd phase of the Project that will consist of working with 24 London based clubs. We will be building on the learnings from the 1st phase in the hope that we can continue to use sport as a tool for social change and provide young people with fantastic development opportunities.
If you are currently involved with a community sports club and are interested in hearing more about this project please do get in touch with Kate on 020 7993 9983 or email Kate.Anstey@accesssport.co.uk