Youngsters learn through sport

BY SHUJAUL AZAM
shuz@slpmedia.co.uk

Five Lambeth community sport clubs are celebrating their contribution to a London-wide education programme which has helped more than 2,000 disadvantaged young people across London improve their employability.

The St Matthews Project, Nu Breed Enterprise and Lionheart in the Community in Brixton, Carney’s Community in Battersea, and Oasis Children’s Venture in Stockwell,  have all been part of sporteducate, a programme which uses sport to engage disadvantaged young people in educational activities outside of the classroom.

The three-and-a-half year programme was run by leading sports charity Sported in partnership with Deutsche Bank’s Born to Be youth engagement programme. It was developed to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds aged 10-18 acquire the skills and aspirations required to find employment after education.

One of the key success factors of sporteducate was that all educational activities were designed and delivered by the community sports clubs themselves, drawing on the intimate local knowledge, personal networks and trusted relationships of their staff and volunteers to break down barriers to learning and re-engage young people in their education, both inside and outside of school.

Young people on the programme benefitted from regular supplementary education classes and mentoring from Deutsche Bank volunteers.

Some of the young people on the Sporteducate scheme.

Whilst the three clubs received funding, training and free business mentoring support from Deutsche Bank’s volunteers.

Sporteducate says it has had a dramatic impact on young people’s attitudes, educational performance and personal development. The number of young people performing at a ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ level at school increased significantly, from 70 per cent pre-programme to 87 per cent after three years on the
programme.

The programme’s model of combining sport and education made a huge difference to young people’s enjoyment of learning, increasing from 61 per cent to 81 per cent after three years. The positive effect on attitudes also saw corresponding improvements in participants’ school attendance, punctuality and completing homework on time.

The complementary role of sport in developing soft-skills is also evident in the programme’s results. Ninety-six participants agreed that sporteducate helped build their confidence, their verbal and written communication improved and more young people felt comfortable working as part of a team.

Finally, since taking part in the sporteducate programme more young people envisage themselves going to college or university, and more would also like to be in a full-time job in the next three years.

Chris Grant, Chief Executive at Sported, said: “Sporteducate’s results prove how powerful sport and community groups can be in transforming young lives when given the right support and resources.

Tackling educational inequality shouldn’t stop at the school gates, it requires a holistic and creative approach in order to reach and engage those who could benefit most.”

He adds: “There has been a significant investment from Deutsche Bank and we would like to thank them for their commitment and support, including all their volunteers for making the programme such a great success. Their vision and conviction to make a difference will have a lasting impact on the lives of thousands of young people for years to come.”

Nicole Lovett, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility UK at Deutsche Bank, said: “We are delighted with the results of sporteducate. We have always held a firm belief in helping young people unlock and fulfil their potential, and creating a level playing field on opportunity. The work that community sports clubs do every day with vulnerable young people, to ensure no one gets left behind, is testament to the success of the programme. We would like to thank our partner Sported and all the hard work of everyone involved, particularly the young people who took part.”

Sporteducate will continue to help young people fulfil their potential after the programme’s end, with learning and insight developed over the three-and-a-half years distilled into a new toolkit to help other communities groups in Camden launch and run their own Sport for Development programmes.

The results are based on the comparison of 878 pre-programme surveys and 718 post-programme surveys, completed by young people between March 2014 and May 2017. The report was produced by EdComs.

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