YST releases annual Impact report evidencing benefits of sport and play

Taking part in inclusive sport and play improves young people’s lives, the Youth Sport Trust’s (YST) Annual Impact Report shows.

The children’s charity provided opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young people in every part of the UK to enjoy or lead high-quality sport, Physical Education and physical activity in the last academic year (2017/18).

It worked with over 20,000 schools and gave continuous professional development to over 22,000 teachers. Evaluation of YST’s work throughout the year shows it is improving young people’s wellbeing and supporting them to develop confidence, resilience and core life skills.

The YST 2018 Impact report published today includes evidence that through the power of sport and play, YST’s projects and programmes are:

  • Improving mental health and physical wellbeing, with young people coping better, being more confident and now having a more positive view of physical activity. 61% of young people reached through the charity’s Active in Mind programme are now coping better as a result.
  • Promoting healthy active lifestyles, with less active young people trying new sports and activities, and young leaders given the confidence and opportunities to advocate the benefits of sport and physical activity to their peers. Nine in ten pupils at our Hub Schools tried a new sport or activity in the three months prior to evaluation.
  • Developing life skills, with young people reporting that they had improved skills and attributes like empathy, resilience, communication and leadership through sport. 95% of girls trained as Football Activators through our work with the FA felt they had developed life skills.
  • Boosting attainment and achievement, through interventions which have made young people feel better prepared for life outside school. 96% of young people supported to become a Young Ambassador in Wales felt better prepared for life after school as a result.
  • Building connections between young people, providing opportunities which have seen children strengthen relationships, make new friends and better understand the importance of inclusion. Three-quarters of teachers said that pupils strengthened friendships and made new friends through inclusive sport festivals YST delivered with Allianz.
  • Enhancing support networks, successfully supporting teachers, parents and young people to ensure more young people get to enjoy the life-changing benefits that come from sport and play. 22,095 teachers received continuous professional development training from YST to deliver high-quality, inclusive PE and sport.

The charity passionately believes that turning the tide on inactivity can help tackle some of the big challenges facing young people today. This comes at a time when national research shows that young people face significant challenges, from struggles with obesity and mental health to lack of confidence and feelings of isolation.

YST Chief Executive Ali Oliver said:

“Together with our partners, funders and supporters, the work of the Youth Sport Trust reached hundreds of thousands of young people in the last academic year.

Our new Impact report shows the very real impact that the power of play and sport is having on young people’s lives. We have helped young people to develop life skills and supported them to achieve more. We enabled them to participate in sport and physical activity and created opportunities for them to make new friends.

“Crucially, evaluation of our work is showing how Physical Education provided in the right way improves young people’s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Through our work, young people are becoming more active, more confident and more resilient.

“At a time when young people’s wellbeing is in decline, the life-changing power of daily physical activity has never been more important.

“This life-changing work is made possible through the fantastic support of the partners and funders who share our goal to improve young lives and ensure that everyone growing up has the opportunity to enjoy the life-changing benefits of sport and play.”

YST works in partnership with a range of organisations and funders including government, businesses and schools to provide opportunities for young people to lead and participate in fun, inclusive physical activity. It provides training to support teachers to deliver it and uses the expertise and inspiration of leading athletes to act as mentors who engage and support young people and raise aspirations.

Cariad Lucas, 16, from Buckinghamshire was supported to become a young leader through YST’s Girls Active programme, delivered in partnership with Women in Sport with National Lottery funding from Sport England. Before starting on the programme, Cariad was low in confidence but has been supported to thrive through Girls Active.

She said:

Girls Active has changed me as a person; I am more confident and have been on an incredible journey which I only hope will continue. I have received countless opportunities to test myself and try new things, made new friends and inspired new girls. For all of that I can only say thank you to everyone involved.

To find out more information about the YST 2018 Impact Report, go to: www.youthsporttrust.org/our-impact


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