Baroness Campbell: Effective delivery crucial for Youth Sport Strategy

The Youth Sport Strategy announced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport this month brings welcome investment to an area of sport where there is a clear need to tackle participation rates.

"The Youth Sport Strategy announced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport this month brings welcome investment to an area of sport where there is a clear need to tackle participation rates.  It is clearly designed to create strong links between community sports providers and schools and it is important that views from both sides are considered as it moves forward. The Youth Sport Trust would welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with Sport England to help shape the implementation of the strategy where it impacts on schools to ensure the investment is maximised.

"The new strategy states that 'Every secondary school in England will be offered a community sport club on its site and will have a direct link to one or more of the sports' governing bodies'.  The Youth Sport Trust's experiences of developing links between schools and clubs demonstrate what can be achieved in this area.  We are a key partner in the Premier League for Sport initiative, a pioneering sports participation programme, which has exceeded its initial target of engaging 25,000 young people in the Olympic sports of badminton, judo, table tennis and volleyball by over 50%.  This is all about how schools develop links with football clubs to introduce new sports on school sites and since the programme began it is has provided 39,327 youngsters across the country with an opportunity to sample these sports. 

"In addition to this, over the last year the Youth Sport Trust has supported the establishment of 3,000 Change 4 Life sports clubs in 7 Olympic and Paralympic sports on secondary schools sites.  These have been phenomenally successful, engaging over 61,000 young people.  Crucially, ninety per cent of participants are choosing to play sport every week and have a positive attitude towards sport which represents a forty per cent increase from the point at which the young people joined the club.  We feel this impact reflects some real learning about the importance of offering a range of sports that are presented in a desirable way for young people can really reach out to those less likely to participate.  It is this learning we feel needs to be embraced through the Youth Sport Strategy.

"Another key aspect of this new strategy is the how it will invest in facilities to allow schools to open up their sports facilities to the public.  Schools can be extremely complex places - their requirements can vary significantly depending on simple things like their size, geographical location or facilities.  Many have developed good community links and are sharing their facilities extremely successfully, and we hope that the implementation of this strategy will  be based on these experiences.

"The Youth Sport Trust passionately believes that sport changes lives; we see on a daily basis the impact that sport can have on young people while they are at school.  The investment brought by the Youth Sport Strategy is a big step in the right direction, but its effective delivery is crucial if it really is to increase participation rates amongst school leavers."

 

"The Youth Sport Strategy announced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport this month brings welcome investment to an area of sport where there is a clear need to tackle participation rates.  It is clearly designed to create strong links between community sports providers and schools and it is important that views from both sides are considered as it moves forward. The Youth Sport Trust would welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with Sport England to help shape the implementation of the strategy where it impacts on schools to ensure the investment is maximised.

"The new strategy states that 'Every secondary school in England will be offered a community sport club on its site and will have a direct link to one or more of the sports' governing bodies'.  The Youth Sport Trust's experiences of developing links between schools and clubs demonstrate what can be achieved in this area.  We are a key partner in the Premier League for Sport initiative, a pioneering sports participation programme, which has exceeded its initial target of engaging 25,000 young people in the Olympic sports of badminton, judo, table tennis and volleyball by over 50%.  This is all about how schools develop links with football clubs to introduce new sports on school sites and since the programme began it is has provided 39,327 youngsters across the country with an opportunity to sample these sports. 

"In addition to this, over the last year the Youth Sport Trust has supported the establishment of 3,000 Change 4 Life sports clubs in 7 Olympic and Paralympic sports on secondary schools sites.  These have been phenomenally successful, engaging over 61,000 young people.  Crucially, ninety per cent of participants are choosing to play sport every week and have a positive attitude towards sport which represents a forty per cent increase from the point at which the young people joined the club.  We feel this impact reflects some real learning about the importance of offering a range of sports that are presented in a desirable way for young people can really reach out to those less likely to participate.  It is this learning we feel needs to be embraced through the Youth Sport Strategy.

"Another key aspect of this new strategy is the how it will invest in facilities to allow schools to open up their sports facilities to the public.  Schools can be extremely complex places - their requirements can vary significantly depending on simple things like their size, geographical location or facilities.  Many have developed good community links and are sharing their facilities extremely successfully, and we hope that the implementation of this strategy will  be based on these experiences.

"The Youth Sport Trust passionately believes that sport changes lives; we see on a daily basis the impact that sport can have on young people while they are at school.  The investment brought by the Youth Sport Strategy is a big step in the right direction, but its effective delivery is crucial if it really is to increase participation rates amongst school leavers."

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