Thousands of Devon youngsters inspired to take up sport
Thousands of young people in Devon have been inspired to get involved in sport thanks to Sport England’s Sportivate Olympic and Paralympic legacy initiative.
Sportivate is aimed at 14- to 25-year-olds who currently aren’t playing sport in their own time, giving them the chance to find a sport they enjoy. The young people are then helped to find a club or venue where they can keep taking part.
Active Devon is running Sportivate across Devon. Examples of projects on offer in Devon include: Surfing, Badminton, Skiing, Table Tennis, Boccia, Dance and Cycling.
Karen Jones, the lead for Sportivate in Devon, said ‘Partners have done a fantastic job in the first year providing a wide range of activities. All the sports chosen have been based upon what young people have said they would like to try and all have an exit route so everyone can continue to take part if they’ve enjoyed the initial programme. The offers for the second year of the project are just as diverse and offer a really wide menu of opportunities for local young people to experience.’
Devon Sportivate partner Andrew Potter of Plymouth Marjon Volleyball added “ Our Sportivate event ran for six weeks and at first, we gave one on one coaching specific to beginners – by week four, they were joining the main session with our club members. We have successfully recruited three members and have four new non-members now playing in our local Volleyball League. They haven’t missed a session which is a great feeling for our coaches and club as it means we must be doing something right to have them come back every week”.
Another successful activity involved a local youth sailing club who ran two Learn to Sail courses with 21 young adults achieving Royal Yacht Association awards. Demand has been so great that the club has had to open up a new section for young adults.
Stuart Jones, Plymouth Youth Sailing Club Secretary explains “We hoped there would be continued interest after the Sportivate programme and even planned for a small number to continue but we never thought we would have to open up a complete new section of the club to cope with demand”.
Sport England’s executive director for Community Sport Mike Diaper said: “It’s fantastic that so many teenagers and young adults are getting into sport through Sportivate. Whether it’s BMX biking, canoeing or netball, I’ve been really struck by the enthusiasm of the young people on Sportivate sessions and impressed that so many of them are continuing to play once the course is over.”
As part of the Places People Play official Olympic legacy programme, Sportivate will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people over four years.
To help inspire and motivate the participants, our Sporting Champions – a team of current and retired elite athletes – are visiting Sportivate sessions to share their experiences and enthusiasm for sport.
You can find out more about Sportivate by visiting www.activedevon.org/sportivate.