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SPORTA REPORT


LOCAL TOUCH All across the country, ‘unsung hero’ initiatives – community-focused projects being delivered


by sporta members – are having a significant impact on their respective local communities. We take a look at a selection of these initiatives taking place across the north-west of England


DOING IT FOR THE KIDS


usion, a community-based youth engagement project, was launched in June 2011. A detailed consultation led by Rossendale Neighbourhood Forums had uncovered a lack of activities for young people, specifi cally in the Haslingden area of Rossendale. In response to this, Rossendale Leisure Trust teamed up with Rossendale Young People’s Service (YPS) and Rossendale Borough Council to apply for funding to provide youth activities. Consultation carried out in schools and youth clubs found that young people wanted a place to ‘hang out’, with a range of sports activities on offer. Thanks to funding from Sportivate and Lancashire Drug and Alcohol Team, Fusion was therefore born – a youth zone created within the local sports centre from 6.00–8.00pm every Friday evening. Costing just £1 a visit, young people can come with friends and take up new


F


ORGANISATION Rossendale Leisure Trust


PROJECT Fusion


activities; the subsidised cost means that those from deprived areas, who might otherwise be out and about on the streets, can afford to get involved. Rossendale YPS provided a youth worker who co-ordinates the project each week, working hand-in-hand with a sports coach to develop a rapport with the young people and build their confi dence levels. The overall idea is to use sport as a positive tool to engage with young people and promote a healthy lifestyle, building their interest in the activities slowly through an informal approach to sport,


without any barriers to participation. Activities have included street dance, boxing, breakdancing, parkour, table tennis and Xbox sports sessions. An average of 18 young people attend every week, and other initiatives have stemmed from the project: a parkour club now runs every Friday for youngsters who fi rst tried it at Fusion. Many parkour club members stay on for Fusion afterwards, and some have joined the sports centre as junior gym members. Having successfully developed a brand young people relate to, the project has now been linked with Street Games and is offering volunteer and training opportunities. Regular consultation is carried out to allow the young people to view Fusion as a youth-led project. Further funding has been obtained to develop this project, including increasing its volunteer base and the number of young people gaining training qualifi cations.


The youth project aims to remove any barriers to participation and gradually engage youngsters through different sports 66 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital March 2013 © Cybertrek 2013


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