A Lottery-funded nation-wide sports initiative which has activities in Nottingham has been backed by an Olympic athlete. Sportivate is being delivered by the network of 49 county sports partnerships, working with local clubs and providers.
It aims to give young people who currently aren’t playing sport in their own time the chance to find a sport they like. The young people are then helped to find a club or other venue where they can keep taking part.
Successful Sportivate projects include the beach handball, which is taking place in Nottingham’s Market Square throughout the summer and a thriving boxing club in Salisbury Square, Nottingham, run by former world champion boxer, Jawaid ‘2sleeq’ Khaliq.
A year on from winning two Olympic gold medals at London 2012, cyclist Jason Kenny was today celebrating a legacy programme that’s helped more than a quarter of a million young people to get involved in sport.
Jason Kenny only got into cycling by chance when his uncle booked a velodrome for a cycling event and ended up with a couple of spare spaces which gave Jason and his brother the chance to give it a go.
“I stumbled into cycling and fell in love with the sport instantly,” said Jason. “Not everybody has had the opportunities that I have had but this is what is so great about Sportivate.
“It offers young people the chance to try new sports with the help of fantastic coaches. I would encourage all young people to get out there and find a sport they enjoy.”
Laura Doherty Nottinghamshire’s Basketball development officer has also paid compliment to the Sportivate funding which has enabled her to start up a series of 3 on 3 Basketball sessions across the city.
“Basketball is a popular sport in Nottingham and the funding from Sportivate has help me bring different groups together,” said Laura. “It gives opportunities to kids from some of the more deprived areas of the city, many have already progressed through to clubs, and I’m hoping to see many more as these projects gather momentum.”
New figures published by Sport England show 256,297 teenagers and young adults have so far benefitted from free or discounted six-to-eight week courses in 70 different sports through Sportivate.
Of these, almost 215,000 have successfully completed their coaching course, missing no more than one session.
Sport England’s Director of Community Sport, Mike Diaper, said: “The key to Sportivate’s success has been listening to what young people want from sport locally and then offering a great sporting experience at times and places that fit with their lives.”