Case Study 2 - Sporting Ambassadors
Policy Heading: Our Experience Following the shooting of 14 year old school boy, Benji Stanley, the Youth Charter employed the services of former middleweight boxing champion, Chris Eubank to visit Trinity High School, where Benji Stanley attended in order to lift the spirits of pupils, teachers and wider community alike. With the media attention that followed, a strategy was employed and the term ‘Sporting Ambassadors’ developed.
Sportsmen and women and sporting clubs and associations have been used in a number of different ways - from school visits, community presentations, project launches, social marketing companies and local, national and international events. These include; Manchester United FC, Manchester City FC, Sir Bobby Charlton, The South African National Soccer Squad, Ghanaian U 17 Soccer World Cup Winners, Rugby Football Union, Judy Simpson MBE, Diane Modahl, Paula Dunn-Thomas, Kevin McKay and Duncan Goodhew MBE.
The role of sporting ambassador’s provided the focal point and central theme to the work of the Youth Charter as well as attracting public/private sector agencies with much needed social and economic investment into the area.
Summary The Sporting Ambassadors were recruited and expanded as part of the Youth Charter’s work nationally and internationally. The first scroll was signed at the Sports Aid Ball in London in 1993. Since that time, over 200 signatures reflecting sportsmen and women globally have signed up to the philosophy, mission and aims of the Youth Charter.
Over 100 scrolls have been presented to individuals, community groups, sports bodies, businesses, local and central government and international agencies to recognise their achievements in supporting the Youth Charter's aims and objectives.
The following are a selection of the breadth and depth of the ambassadors1 the Youth Charter can call on:
Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Stephen Redgrave, Linford Christie, Tanni Grey Thompson, Sarah Bailey, Kriss Akabussi, Pat Cash, Sharron Davies, Tracy Edwards, Denise Lewis, Sir Alex Ferguson, Tim Henman, Clive Lloyd, all of whom have been involved in lobbying, advocating, fundraising and highlighting the work of the Youth Charter.
Lessons learned Sportsmen and women need to be more coordinated and identified within their local communities, projects and programmes to provide consistency and long term value for money. Better use should be made of existing former competitors and more importantly up and coming potential representatives of their country. This has a benefit to both sportsperson and community/initiative.
What we inspired The Sporting Ambassadors scheme has been replicated by Sport England and renamed ‘Sporting Champions’. The initiative has now been mainstreamed into wider sports development policy and delivery, as well as being taken on by the private sector. Other countries have now adopted similar Ambassador Initiatives to highlight and implement the importance of sport to develop social and human projects and programmes.
Agencies CCPR, BOA, Sport England, UK Sport, Sports Aid, UN, SOS Children’s Village, The Laureus Foundation
3.2 Personal & Social Development for Life: Youthwise©
The Youthwise© Programme was launched in 1997 at the Charity Fair Conference in Islington, London with the support of all three political parties. The programme was inspired by the Youth Charter’s work with young people to date in schools, the wider community, Young Offenders Institutions and the unemployed. Youthwise© aims to provide a generic programme that develops personal and social life skills through sport and the arts.
Youthwise© uses sport, its icons, images, emotions and physical presence, as a catalyst in addressing the issues surrounding social exclusion. The programme is specifically designed to re-engage into society young people who for one reason or another feel excluded from it. Youthwise© is not an apologist programme for society's inequality of opportunity, but rather a self-help, self-start programme impacting the individual and their community.
Youthwise© has three main aims - the ‘prevention, intervention and rehabilitation’ of young people caught up in the negative cycle of social and cultural exclusion and deprivation. These aims are achieved through the creation of a positive pathway involving participation, education and training, voluntary work or employment. At the core of each Youthwise© programme is a focus upon the individual and the role of that individual within their community. Positive self-image and essential life skills, as well as understanding the cause and effect of individual actions on the wider community are central to the Youthwise© programme.
The Youthwise© programme also recognises the decline in family values and the detrimental effect of losing the wider family support network. The programme sets out to redress this balance by creating a greater sense of community through helping establish the expertise, funding, ‘social coaches’ and programmes to assist young people and the wider community.
Youthwise© has been designed to work in partnership complementing and enhancing existing initiatives with an experience gained from over forty years of working with young people and numerous case studies into anti-social youth culture. Partnership initiatives are aimed at statutory and non-statutory bodies, voluntary organisations and the private sector.
The Youthwise© Programme has been adapted and reflects the many Youth Charter experiences, visits and consultations with the young people and the wider community. Public, private sector and governmental departments, NGO’s and charitable institutions have also been consulted. This programme provides social and personal development with modular learning programmes designed for each of the key areas of identified social policy focus. ‘One on one’ and group sessions, programme and project interventions were delivered to some of the most hard to reach and disaffected young people. The Youthwise Programme is as structured as it is flexible and was designed to provide social and cultural tools through sport and the arts that provide a common language and culture that is required to ‘engage, motivate and inspire’ young people failed by the education system and society as a whole. The generic, social and cultural skill sets developed, provide a language and culture of ongoing life long learning benefits that can re-engage all young people from all walks of life.
The Youthwise© Programme uses all or any of the engaging activities of interest to young people whilst linking them to the key social areas of benefit and awareness - education, health, social order and environment.
Additional modular programmes have been designed with Youthwise© in Schools, Youthwise© in the Community, Youthwise© in Institutions and Youthwise© to Work, providing considerable insight and ability to map, track and chart the progress of young people caught in the negative cycle of the youth justice system.
3.3 Youthwise© in Schools
A good education is the corner stone of equality and opportunity not just the achievement of academic qualifications but the development of what is currently referred to as citizenship. However, rights and responsibilities need to be fostered with the entitlement and access to sporting, physical and artistic expression that channels the energy and manages the potential of the many who simply do not respond to the existing curriculum.
Every day the UK experiences 72,000 truancies (SEU)* with 12,300 permanently excluded children from school (PAT12)* equating to a cost of £406 million (SEU)* for all exclusions from school. In an attempt to increase the number of children who stay on in education, the government are offering an incentive of £40 per week for every child which equates to a £600m package. Connexions, the advisory service costs an estimated £470m pa.
The breakdown of the family unit means that for parents to be economically active childcare becomes a necessity. The erosion of pensions and long life expectancy has resulted in many grandparents not being available to support parents. The child tax credit scheme now includes a proportion to cover childcare but this falls short of the £500 or so monthly fees for pre-schoolers outside London (BBC News 2005c)*. For those in school there is still the need for holiday provision. There are numerous debates about how early a child should attend a nursery but the interaction with other children does bring benefits with recent evidence of education attainment being set from 22 months old. For this to occur an adequate number of nursery and playgroup places need to be available. The pressure on this resource will be increased when the free part time education for 3 year olds is implemented.
Healthy lifestyles are clearly linked to poverty and are not limited to infant mortality and life expectancy. The rise in obesity (linked to poor diet and lack of exercise) will place the health services under greater strain as the current generation of obese young people transform into adulthood. The recent campaign by the celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver highlighted the need for healthier school meals. The benefits of good nutrition, as several studies have shown, extend beyond physical well-being to improved concentration and behaviour (BBC News 2004; Nutrition 2005; Mercola 2002)*.
Drugs misuse costs the UK some £3.2 - £3.7 billion (SEU)* although it is recognised that this figure accounts for the entire population and not just the under 19s. However, substance abuse is starting at young ages and only increases in prevalence with age. A survey undertaken by the Information Centre for Health and Social Care found that of the sample 20% pupils have taken drugs in the last year and 4% of 11-15 year olds had taken class A drugs (BBC News 2006)*. Additionally an average of 9% of school children were regular smokers and 3% of 11 year olds and 50% of 15 year olds admitted to consuming alcohol in the last week.
The UK has the second highest rate of teenage pregnancy (Hill 2002)* and is highest in areas of social deprivation (Foster 2001)* costing £116 million each year in benefits alone. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have risen across Britain, with an increase of over 300,000 cases between 1995 and 2000; the current rise in STDs is generally accepted as an indicator for future trends of HIV (Forrest 2001)*. In a single act of unprotected sex with an infected partner, a teenage woman has a 1% risk of acquiring HIV, a 30% risk of getting genital herpes and a 50% chance of contracting gonorrhoea.
page 20 *Refer reference pages 45 - 46 page 21
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24