The Scottish Government is well on its way to reaching its target of 150 Community Sports Hubs across 32 Local Authorities by 2016. Their development is supported with £1.5 million per year.
This weekend 19 new recruits to the much coveted youth programme took part in a residential training weekend developed, planned and delivered by young mentors who have themselves come through the programme. Health inequalities, poverty and high rates of unemployment are just some of the challenges the award winning legacy programme is working to overcome with community youth and sport organisations and incredible young role models and volunteers from within the North East of Glasgow.
In the last year alone, young “Active Champions” have given 11,188 volunteer hours delivering a huge variety of sports and physical activity for young people in their community. This is the in-kind equivalent of £111,880 of investment to increase levels of physical activity in the city of Glasgow. To date young volunteers who have accessed the partner led Active East programme have been supported on their journeys to employment, further education and training.
Rohanna Irvine, Youth Development Coordinator with Active East said: “I am super excited to be recruiting more young people into the Active Champion Programme and preparing them for their volunteer journeys with partner organisations in the East End of Glasgow. It is fantastic to see so many young people wanting to take the lead and help other young people within the East End.”
Edward Fitzpatrick has been involved since 2013 and is now a mini mentor with the programme and planned and delivered much of the content from the weekend for new Active Champions. When describing his experience of the programme he said: “One of my highlights of being involved in the Active East programme was meeting Sir Chris Hoy at an event during the Commonwealth Games. I really wanted to say to him he was my main role model but before I could he said that I was a local role model and making a real difference. This was an absolute high for me! But after this high came a really tough time, I didn’t get the exam results I was hoping for. However, I managed to gain an advanced higher A in Graphic communication. I was accepted to study at Glasgow school of Art where I knew it was hard to gain a place. Of course the grades I achieved helped but I really believe I got there because of the skills I gained through years of volunteering. As part of my product design course in first year, I got to go and do a project with Kirsty in Active East which was crazy as I got to give back so quickly”. He finished by saying to the young volunteers: “help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours”.
In January the Active East programme was successful in being awarded £50,000 from the Scottish Governments Active Scotland Legacy fund continuing the initial investment made by The Robertson Trust, Comic Relief and the Governments CashBack for Communities’ initiative. The legacy funding will support new recruits and those already involved to begin creating their own peer education on topics they know affect local young people, they will be creating new exciting activity programmes, delivered for free, in areas which need provision most and after consultation to identify what kids really want to do. They will also be shaping a new and exciting training programme which will be delivered across Scotland designed to maximise the impact of sport and physical activity on social and personal development.
Andy Sinclair, Head of Legacy at the Scottish Government said: “We are delighted to offer continued support, through our Legacy funding, for the fantastic work that Active East do. The Active Champions in particular, give so much to their communities and do great work in promoting increased levels of physical activity”
All of the Active Champions hard work is accredited through Glasgow Kelvin College’s Community Achievement Awards, they also recognise their achievements and can reflect their learning in updated CV’s and are encouraged and supported into further education, training courses and jobs.
Here’s to the Active Champions of Glasgow. Truly inspirational individuals working to change their own lives and improve the lives of others. These young people really are the future.
For more information on the Active East programme see our website - http://scottishsportsfutures.org.uk/active-east/