Sportivate to provide sporting opportunities for teenagers and young adults
Tue 22 Mar 2011
Surveys show that many young people drop out of sport in their teens and early 20s, and the government wants to motivate them to give a sport another go or to try something completely new.
The result is a new Sport England initiative called Sportivate, part of the Play strand of Sport England’s mass participation legacy programme Places, People, Play that was launched last November.
Sportivate is designed to to provide "attractive and sustainable sporting opportunities" for teenagers and young adults in a sport of their choice within their community. The programme will launch between April and July 2011 and run until March 2015.
Over this period, Sport England will invest £32 million of National Lottery funding into the scheme.
Coaching and Playing
At the heart of the Sportivate programme is the chance for young people aged between 14 and 25 to receive six to eight weeks of coaching in a sport of their choice. The programme will be delivered through the network of 49 County Sports Partnerships (CSPs), working with a range of local partners.
The programme is aimed at those who are not currently choosing to participate in sport in their own time, or are doing so for a very limited amount of time, and it will support them to continue playing sport in their community after the coaching period is over.
Sportivate will be fully inclusive, and will target participants across this age group, including males and females, young people who have a disability and participants from black and ethnic minority groups.
Targets and Outcomes
Sportivate's targets are to ensure that nearly 300,000 young people in the 14-25 age range complete coaching courses over the four years of the programme, with at least 120,000 of them continuing to play sport regularly. Other outcomes will be:
-- The provision of a supply chain of sporting activities that will match as well as generate demand.
-- A focus on high-quality sports providers operating within robust safeguarding standards.
-- The creation of more opportunities for the growth and deployment of coaches and volunteers.
-- Increased take up in leisure centres and other facility stock.
-- Close links with clubs to drive more participants to take part as players and volunteer in community sports clubs.
BSUK Can Help
Sport England's expectation is that National Governing Body (NGB) clubs will play an important role in Sportivate by providing a range of activities for a wider cohort of 14-25s than is currently the case. The aim will be for clubs to provide structured and managed pathways, and support the delivery of sessions.
Baseball or softball clubs or leagues that would like to apply for grants (for example, to bring in coaches who can deliver Sportivate sessions in schools, colleges or in the community) should contact their BSUK Point Person, who can provide advice and support for grant applications.
While it may not be possible to gain grants for the coming season, work could begin now to set up Sportivate programmes and obtain grants for 2012.
Wins and Losses
BSUK Joint CEO and Head of Development John Boyd sums up the current gains and losses for sport, of which Sportivate is a part:
"There has been some good work going on up to now by Competition Managers and Partnership Development Managers who are employed by School Sports Partnerships (or will be for another few months), and there has also been funding available for school coaching and for programmes that link schools to clubs (called Sport Unlimited).
"But everything is now changing in school sport as a result of government decisions and cuts, and it's going to leave this season quite badly affected for many people.
Sport England is introducing Sportivate as a replacement programme for Sport Unlimited. The key difference is that it's focused on 14-25-year-olds and is no longer only for building school-club links but rather about introductory programmes to introduce people to sport. This could include from a school environment, but also FE colleges, universities, companies, community groups, employment centres and people in the wider community.
"It is a useful programme that could be of help in the recruitment of teenagers and adults for club membership and play."
I think this is a great idea, introducing softball into schools, colleges, community, etc. I play A grade for Mariners, and have previously played for the GB development squad. I am a PE teacher and have been delivering softball to my college students for several years now, as well as running introductory sessions on how to teach softball to the local schools sport partnership and PE teachers, going into local schools and running tasters for the students. Any of my college students who have shown potential and who are keen, i have filtered into the Solent league, and they have then progressed into the Mariners.
I am quite keen to assist in the Sportivate initiative, if i can help the BSUK in anyway. I know that Stan is already coming down to deliver some softball tasters to the hampshire colleges, of which i am one, although i was unable to attend (i haven’t actually met Stan yet). I work closely with our PDM, and have delivered day coaching sessions for the local police and disaffected kids, for playschemes for the local council, and an aim higher day for portsmouth Uni prospective students. I am eager to get more involved if you would like to utilise my services and my contacts with the local schools and colleges.
Mandy Wood (Head of PE, St Vincent College).