Sportivate Helps Young People Get Back into Basketball
Sportivate is a nationwide campaign that will capture the excitement of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by providing opportunities for teenagers and young adults (aged 14-25) to receive coaching in a sport of their choice and guide them into regular participation within their community.
Year 1 Sportivate projects have been delivered at St Bedes School, North Bristol, linked with Filton College and Lockleaze Basketball club. The sessions were designed to offer basketball to young people in two different ways; those who may have played a little before but since leaving school have not played or played less frequently than they would have liked. The second for those who have had an introduction to basketball in school but wish to take the sport up in their own time. Lockleaze Basketball Club has recently relocated to North Bristol and were keen to develop club opportunities further both formally and informally to engage with the local community.
The sessions targeting the older age group attracted good numbers of young people some of whom had played at a high level during their late teens but had given up for a number of reasons, including:
- Few options locally.
- Some had spent some time in prison and on release had found it difficult to find a club or session willing to offer opportunities.
- Others had moved away to University and had not found appropriate provision to continue but on their return wanted to play again.
The sessions for the younger age groups of both boys and girls provided an outlet for young people who had played basketball in school, had enjoyed this and wanted to play outside of school. This attracted young people from three local secondary schools and helped breakdown some of the social barriers, which would prevent the teens mixing outside of the sports centre. This also led to a number of junior opportunities for young people to feed into at the club and informal pay and play sessions have been developed within the facility.
The sessions offered an inclusive and structured opportunity to engage with basketball, something which has led to all the participants continuing to engage with the sport through the club, whether as part of the two Local League Basketball teams or just training and playing in club social sessions.
Danny James (Head Coach, Lockleaze Basketball Club) said:
"The Sportivate opportunity has been hugely successful for Lockleaze Basketball Club, we have been able to attract new club members from a very diverse range of social backgrounds. The club
has always prided itself with its inclusive policy, providing opportunities for all to take part. To see the results has been fantastic. Our move to a new facility and area, timed with the Sportivate opportunities has enabled us to make a positive impact in the local community and ultimately helped our club grow its provision and opportunities further"
Sarah Mcleod, Wesport Sportivate Lead said:
"This project demonstrates exactly how Sportivate funding can help break down barriers to allow young people to get back into a sport they loved. I would encourage anyone who wants to help 14-25 years get physically active and involved in sport to contact us and we will see if Sportivate can help develop your ideas."
If you would like more information about Sportivate and how you can get involved, either taking part or delivering a Sportivate project please visit www.wesport.org.uk/sportivate.