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Inspiring young people through sport in Glasgow’s East End

Kirsty Partridge, Programmes Manager, Scottish Sports Futures

Back in May 2011, over 30 local community groups in the East End of Glasgow came together with the ambition of ensuring physical activity and sporting opportunities were available to all local young people.

Over the last four years, thanks to significant partnership working, the project has grown and flourished with a strong focus on empowering young people to develop their leadership skills and confidence.

The aim of the Active East programme was to create a legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games for young people in the East of Glasgow by increasing levels of physical activity and building skills, such as leadership and team work, through volunteering. Active East and its partner organisations bring together the principles of youth work and the power of sport and in one year, it’s estimated 1,600 local children were reached through the programme’s small grants fund.

71 local young people have become Active Champions; receiving training in subjects like coaching children, refereeing games, first aid, promoting and running clubs, officiating and child protection. Active Champions have contributed an astounding 14,000 hours of volunteering and undertaken an average of 2.8 hours per week for Active East. 

One Active East partner said: “It has given a better understanding of the power of volunteering and the pathways it opens up that could lead to an increase in participation. Active East has also given us more ideas surrounding qualifying volunteers as deliverers, officials, participants and mentors.”

A survey of participants showed 44% of young people hadn’t previously attended the club or groups and 20% had never taken part in the activity before. One of the biggest achievements for the programme was that 85% of participants felt they’d enjoyed taking part a lot. The Active East programme aims to continue working in partnership with organisations in the East End of Glasgow to ensure young people fulfil their potential through the power of sport.

Edward Fitzpatrick, an Active Champion, said: “What an experience it has been, so many memories, inspirations and once in a life time opportunities.”

Active East is funded by The Robertson Trust, The Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief. It is managed by Scottish Sport Futures. For further information about the programme please visit the Active East Website and to read a report on the impacts so far visit The Robertson Trust.