In September 2014 a grant from Sport England allowed Essex Boys and Girls Clubs to develop a new programme designed to encourage 14-19 year olds to try a new sport.
The aim is to get 22 affiliated youth clubs to take part in the project each year, over three years. They receive 8 weeks of delivery and get to choose four different sports to participate in. These sports range from Football, Basketball, Tag Rugby and Badminton to Archery, Boxing, Table Tennis and Dodgeball.
The first club to run the project was Hedingham Youth Club. Club members were asked to choose four sports that they wanted to try from our list and then coaches delivered engaging sessions. With other clubs excited to get started it was soon apparent which sports would be most popular. After the first year of delivery these sports chosen by all Youth Clubs were Archery, Boxing, Dodgeball and Table Tennis, showing how popular certain “non-traditional” sports can be. The project allows the young people to try a sport they may not have tried before and therefore participate in some of the events run by EBGC.
As well as the sports sessions the young people also get the opportunity to participate in life skills sessions, these include sessions focused on healthy eating, drugs, alcohol, smoking, hydration and the effects they have on fitness and exercise. With the help of Essex Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Awareness Services (EYPDAS) these sessions are well received.
The vision is to provide these clubs with the training and opportunity to continue these activities after the project has finished. If a club finds a sport which is popular and would like to continue running it, they will have the basic skills and games to lead sessions or they may find funding to continue to bring in coaches and buy equipment for themselves.
About Sport England
Sport England is focused on helping people and communities across the country create a sporting habit for life. They are committed to investing over £1 billion of National Lottery and Exchequer funding between 2012 and 2017 in organisations and projects that will:
- Help more people have a sporting habit for life
- Create more opportunities for young people to play sport
- Nurture and develop talent
- Provide the right facilities in the right places
- Support local authorities and unlock local funding
- Ensure real opportunities for communities
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