Sportivate Inspires New Career
Sportivate is a nationwide campaign that is capturing 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. Sportivate is organised and managed by the West of England Sport Trust (Wesport) who are the County Sport Partnership for the West of England Area.
Wesport in partnership with Bristol City Council has provided young people the opportunity to take up sport as part of the legacy promise made by organisers of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. One of these programmes was organised through Bristol City Councils ‘UsGirls StreetGames Project’ and provided Zumba classes for young women in the South Bristol area. These projects were a massive success with 18 young women attending all 6 weeks. One of the projects also had an added benefit by inspiring a young woman called Raquel to become a Zumba instructor.
Raquel has always had an interest in dance and has attended a number of dance projects during her youth, including Angels Dance Academy in Knowle West, Bristol. She also studied for a BTEC in Dance at college.
Raquel heard about a Zumba class in Knowle that was funded through Sportivate and Bristol City Council's 'USGirls StreetGames Project'. She knew the instructor (Tracy) already through Angels so decided to go along and try something different. She loved it and became a regular every week!
During her time at the classes, Tracy noticed that Raquel seemed keen to take the Zumba further and spoke to her about becoming an instructor, which Raquel was very enthusiastic about doing. At the same time, Bristol City Council (UsGirls StreetGames Project) had been asked by a youth group to provide an instructor for Zumba on request from the girls attending the youth sessions. As the youth centre was close to where Raquel lives, it was an obvious link and great place to start her coaching.
Raquel completed the Zumba course and began teaching at Hillfields Youth Centre in April 2011, again funded by Sportivate. Within 3 weeks, the number of women attending the session had reached almost 30. The demand for sessions has continued beyond the funding and has been so great that Raquel is now also teaching an additional session at the same venue on another evening. The participants are now paying for their classes and provide enough income for Raquel to continue.
Lisa Wood, Wesport Sportivate Lead said:
“Raquels story is fantastic and exactly what the Sportivate programme is about. We want each Sportivate project to exist after the 6-week block of funding whether that is a link to a club or other long-term programme. Raquel has gone beyond that and is now inspiring other young woman to get into sport and physical activity.”
For more information about Sportivate please visit www.wesport.org.uk/sportivate.