Our Street Sports Programme provides an opportunity for young people to be active, socialise, have fun, play sports, and learn new skills. Staff provide the equipment and deliver a variety of sports including games and variations of many traditional sports that lend themselves to a ‘street’ setting. The sessions are a way of channelling young islanders’ energies into constructive physical activity. There is no pressure to perform so the focus is on young people enjoying being active.
Through sport, the aim is to improve young people's confidence and self-esteem. Street Sports is funded by a grant from BBC Children in Need.
Under 11 Programme - Overview
The under-11 programme has flourished again during 2023. This session has seen the return of familiar faces but also the programme continues to welcome new participants to engage in sporting activity. Based down at the Les Genats Estate on a Thursday night, children actively take part in a variety of sports such as Dodgeball, Netball, Football, Circus Skills, Parachute Games, Tag Games, Hockey, Basketball and more. The children have the opportunity to feedback to the staff every week on what sports they would like to play which creates healthy participation numbers every week.
This year, children taking part in the under 11 programme have had the opportunity to access different facilities and benefit from working with Sport Specific Development Officers (SSDOs). The Guernsey Table Tennis Centre has been used on many occasions for children to partake in this sport and they have thoroughly enjoyed it. The children have also had the opportunity to visit the nearby Up-Climbing Centre. This involves an indoor climbing wall where children can challenge themselves in a different environment. The children have also been visited twice on a Thursday night by the Guernsey Skateparks community.
The skateboarding coaches have provided the chance for our children to try skateboarding. They have brought down ramps for the children to challenge themselves but also provided support for children who have never tried the sport before.
Providing Healthy Eating Choices
We offer free fruit and vegetables at our sessions, and these are especially popular on Thursday nights where a variety of different options are provided each week thanks to sponsorship from the Sarah Groves Foundation and Les Cotils. Some of the healthy options this year were: bananas, oranges, apples, pears, cucumbers, peppers, carrots and more. Children love having a healthy snack during the session, as there is rarely any left at the end of the evening. A survey conducted showed many children were not eating more than one piece of fruit or vegetable a day. At the Sports Commission we believe it is important to give children access and exposure to these healthy options not only to ensure the child’s healthy growth and development but remind them why healthy eating is so important.
Our 11-18 programme has suffered from a lack of attendance again this year.
Meetings had taken place during the early months of 2023 on how to seek the participation of young people within this age bracket. With a great effort from the team advertising strategies such as leaflet drops, school presentations and social media posts were all tried but unfortunately resulted in limited success.
This session was also moved to La Mare de Carteret playing fields during the spring months to try to attract more participation. The team has yet to find a solution for the future of this programme, but we will continue to target this as a main goal for next year. It is difficult to say why this programme has diminished since the COVID pandemic, but our team will continue to work to find a solution to create more opportunities for young people within a sporting environment.
In 2024, the Guernsey Sports Commission will continue to strive to increase the participation of young children across the island in sport whilst promoting healthy active lifestyles. The staff will look to devise a plan around the 11-18 programme and how to boost participation within this age group. We will continue to provide our 6–10-year-old age group programme with a variety of sporting opportunities within a safe environment whether this be at Les Genats or off-site. As cited by UNCRC article 31, ‘Children and young people have the right to engage in recreational activities such as sporting activities’.
This year our staff have highlighted two participants that have shown progression within 2023. These children have been recognised for their improvements in sports but also social interaction with the staff and with their peers.
Child A joined street sports in 2021. This participant was very shy which can be expected within an active and lively environment. They struggled to speak within groups and only spoke when GSC staff engaged in a conversation. Over the last two years, particularly over the last 12 months, child A continues to be a regular attendant to Thursday night Street Sports sessions. Their social interaction has improved drastically over the last 12 months, regularly starting, and engaging in conversation with staff. Child A doesn’t always have the greatest motivation and aspiration to engage in sporting activity.
However, this year, they have shown confidence to engage in more sporting activities. They enjoy a variety of games such as Dodgeball and Hockey, but their favourite is the game of splat. In turn this continues to develop his social skills with other children his age.
Child B joined Street Sports in 2023. This participant is a very vibrant member of the programme, and their energetic and confident nature makes it easy for them to engage with people they know. Child B loves to engage in all sports but takes a main interest in dodgeball. The staff have seen improvement in this participant's fundamental movement skills (FMS) and gross motor skills, especially throwing for accuracy and catching. The Street Sports sessions are so important for this child to engage in physical activity. When developing a relationship and having conversations with this participant, we have learnt that they do not play in any club-linked physical activity on the island.
We will look to work closely with this child and recommend clubs that they can access.
We are looking for a new sponsor for Street Sports for 2025 onwards. If you are interested in finding out more please contact email@example.com