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Two Counties and three sports clubs from across England have won awards for their trailblazing work to get more young people involved in sport.

This happened on the day that new government figures reveal that 90% of school children are participating in at least two hours of sport each week.

The grassroots gongs were presented as part of the inaugural Sport England Young People Best Practice Awards in Telford. The organisations won recognition for delivering ‘cutting edge’ sports programmes, connecting with young people and using student opinions to shape the sports that are on offer.

The winners are:

A. Best ‘cutting edge’ delivery in a national governing body sports club:
Bradford Olympic Trampoline Club
Location:  Bradford, West Yorkshire

B. Best communication to young people:
PRO ACTIVE South London
Location: South London

C. Best use of student voice:
Active Norfolk
Location:  Norfolk

D. Best support for step into sport community volunteers:
Green Lane Disabled and Able Bodied Archers
Location: Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland

E. Best ‘cutting edge’ school club link by a club/school:
Gillingham School/North Dorset Rugby Football Club
Location:  Dorset

The new government figures also show that schools are developing more links with community sports clubs – the best route to keeping young people involved in sport. On average, schools were linked to 7.6 different sports in 2007/08 – up 50% from 2003/04. The most common links were with football, cricket, rugby union, swimming and athletics. North Dorset Rugby Football Club’s link with Gillingham School won a best practice award because they: make their pitches and facilities available for school matches; regularly host tournaments; and mentor new youth coaches. 10% of the school population now regularly play rugby for the club. 

The awards were presented by Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust to recognise the success of projects delivering parts of the Government’s £2.4 billion PE and Sport for Young People strategy. The strategy includes 10 different work strands – three of which are being delivered by Sport England. These are Sport Unlimited (4000 taster courses in sports young people say they want to do), Leadership and Volunteering (opportunities for young people to give their time in community sport) and School Club Links (creating routes from school sport to sports clubs for young people).

PRO ACTIVE South London was honoured for the original way in which it connected with young people.

Staff worked with young people from the Connexions Shadow Board to create a strategy for how best to communicate with 11-19 year olds. Key messages that appealed to young people were developed.

These messages, as well as online discussion fora, prize draws, email alerts and a text messaging service were provided to those delivering the sports sessions as part of a resource pack aimed at making sport accessible and appealing to more young people. PRO ACTIVE South London presented their work to other partnerships at the awards conference.

Sports on offer in South London included rowing, cricket, sailing and kayaking.

Mike Diaper, Sport England Executive Director for Children and Young People said:

"I congratulate the winners for their impressive work engaging young people and getting them doing more sport. Connecting with young people in ways they like is essential if we are going to be successful in getting all young people doing five hours of sport and activity each week.

“Sport Unlimited is being delivered through county sports partnerships and is creating exciting and attractive sporting opportunities for young people across England.”


Written by Richard Taylor
Monday, 17 November 2008 0:12

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