National children’s charity supports over 750,000 children to be fit for life

More than 750,000 young people have been engaged in programmes designed to improve their life chances through the work of the Youth Sport Trust

More than 750,000 young people have been engaged in programmes designed to improve their life chances through the work of a children’s charity.

The Youth Sport Trust (YST), the UK charity on a mission to ensure every child can enjoy the life-changing benefits that come from play and sport, has published its 2017 Impact Report.

The report details how the power of physical activity is being used to enhance young people’s wellbeing and equip them with the skills to achieve in the classroom and in life.

In the 2016/17 academic year, the charity worked with more than 750,000 young people from 20,000 schools in every part of the UK. More than 25,000 teachers were given continuous professional development, equipping them with the skills to confidently teach wellness and life skills through PE.

Ali Oliver, YST Chief Executive, said:

Working in partnership with a range of partners and funders, 2017 was another busy year for us. At a time when children’s lifestyles are becoming increasingly sedentary, obesity rates continue to rise and young people’s mental health is in decline, I believe our work has never been more important.

While we are proud of our reach, it is the difference being made to individual children that is important to us. Evaluations of our programmes highlight the positive impact that sport and physical activity can have on improving self-esteem, raising aspirations, building resilience and developing life and leadership skills. This report evidences the impact these outcomes have on raising achievement in the classroom.

“There are many positive stories and accounts within this report, but we know there is still much to be done. While we have showcased the things that work, the past 12 months have also equipped us with insight on where we need to focus in our new strategy which will be launched at the beginning of April.”

Example of the Youth Sport Trust’s impact over the past year include:

  • Driving improvements in young people’s wellbeing - Through its Girls Active programme, funded through the National Lottery by Sport England and delivered in partnership with This Girl Can and Women in Sport, YST has worked with 200 secondary schools to address the gender gap in school sport. It has increased the amount of time girls are active each week, and improved confidence, happiness and enjoyment of physical activity among girls taking part.
  • Supporting the development of young people’s life and leadership skills - 2,230 young leaders have been trained through the Project Ability programme - 59% of whom had special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The programme, funded by the Department for Education and Sport England, aims to increase the access of young people with SEND to a wider range of sport and leadership opportunities. Participants said it had increased their confidence as leaders, empowered them to take on new challenges and supported them to learn new things.
  • Raising the achievement of young people - In partnership with Sky Sports, the charity supported 128,819 students to achieve their personal best in life through the Living for Sport programme. 81% of teachers said that students participating in the programme had become more engaged in school life with 70% stating that student attainment had improved.

Ali added: “Through our programmes we have seen some incredible results and want to continue to inspire and empower young people to achieve all that they can in life. The transferrable skills and values that sport can build, significantly benefit young people as they transition into adulthood and help equip them for later life.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our amazing fundraisers, partners and sponsors who supported us last year on our mission to create a brighter future for young people through sport.”

To view the full report visit http://impact.youthsporttrust.org/

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