The Guernsey Sports Commission’s Street Sports programme continues to be a great way of engaging more young people in sport and encouraging them be physically active.
Street Sports provides an opportunity for young people to be active, socialise, have fun, play sports and learn new skills. The programme offers access to free sports and physical activity sessions at locations across the island where a number of young people may experience social or economic difficulties.
Financial support from the Lloyds Bank Foundation Channel Islands has been invaluable to the continued provision of Street Sports. Each year we deliver three Street Sports sessions a week, 50 weeks a year. We rely on the funding from the Foundation for this to happen. Their support covers everything from staff, equipment, training and excursions and means that Street Sports staff are able to work closely with other agencies that offer young people advice and support in other areas of their lives.
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. The aim is to improve young people's confidence and self-esteem through sport. The programme is also committed to making young people aware of other activities and services on the island that may also benefit their well-being.
Here are two case studies which demonstrate the positive impact the programme is having on young lives.
Case study 1 - John
John started coming to our Thursday night sessions shortly after he and his family moved to Les Genats, the large housing estate that we deliver sessions on twice a week. John was also facing the challenge of moving schools. He was emotional and very unsure of the programme and what was expected of him.
John has been attending street sports for roughly eight months now and his behaviour and understanding have improved greatly. He is given a safe space at school where he can go if he’s feeling angry or unsure, so we have continued this at the Street Sports session. This has helped John to calm down when he feels like he’s getting slightly angry. The staff know that when he is in his space he needs time and normally someone to listen to his problems. The staff have built a good relationship with John and we can gladly say that he has needed his safe space less and less. When he first started coming to the session he very much wanted individual attention from staff whereas now he is much happier joining in with the team games and challenges.
John enjoys taking part in a range of sports, his favourite being dodgeball, football and basketball. John is now really taking ownership of the sessions and is always asking for different equipment and games to be brought down to the session. John has also accompanied us on some trips to the Table Tennis Centre where he has shown some excellent behaviour and respected the new environment we have used.
Case Study 2 - Eve
Over the last six months, Eve has really grown in confidence when taking part in Street Sports sessions. She has built a positive relationship with staff and is always encouraging her friends to join in with the sports on offer. Eve is good at working with other young people and helps to get the best out of others.
Eve attends the sessions every week; she is always helpful and works with staff to get equipment out and to get it packed away at the end. She is a good role model to the rest of her peers and always remains positive, although she is dealing with major back problems.
Eve would like to get back into football in the future, and would potentially look to join a club as she enjoys the sport so much and is always requesting to play at our sessions.
Eve has made progress in other areas of her life this year as she has secured herself a job working in a local fish and chip shop in the evenings. She is taking responsibility for earning her own money and likes to be independent.
The Guernsey Sports Commission would like to say a big thank you to the Lloyds Bank Foundation for their fantastic support.