Young people urged to get out and give sport a go

Sport England has launched a £32 million Lottery programme to get 300,000 young people playing sport.

Hundreds of thousands of teenagers and young adults are set to benefit from a new sports programme that aims to fulfil the legacy promise made by Seb Coe in Singapore in 2005 to ‘inspire young people to choose sport’.

Sportivate will give 14- to 25-year-olds the chance to receive six to eight weeks of coaching in a sport of their choice – helping those who aren’t currently playing sport in their own time to get out and give it a go.

As part of the Places People Play mass participation legacy programme, Sportivate will see 300,000 teenagers and young adults completing sports courses over four years.

Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said:

“Lots of young people think sport isn’t for them. I would like them to have the chance to discover whether there is a sport they really enjoy, so this programme is all about choice.  Everyone who takes part will receive high quality coaching – giving them the confidence and skills which will make them want to keep playing in the future.” 

The announcement was welcomed by the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP, and Commonwealth Games medalist, Zoë Smith.

Hugh Robertson said:

“This £32 million Lottery programme launched by Sport England will give hundreds of thousands of teenagers and young adults across the country the opportunity to try out and get coached in the sport of their choice. I’m sure these same young people will also be inspired when the world’s greatest athletes compete here at next summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games and will then want to stay involved in sport for many years to come.”

Zoë Smith became the youngest ever weightlifting Commonwealth medalist when she won bronze at the 2010 Delhi Games at the age of 16. Zoë, who now has her sights set on competing at London 2012, said:

“Getting the chance to get out and try a new sport is fantastic. I didn’t take up my sport until I was 12, so it just shows if you’re up for some fun and trying something new, you can find a sport you really want to stick with.”

Sportivate will be delivered by the network of 49 county sports partnerships who will work with local providers and sports clubs to help 14- to 25-year-olds to continue taking part long after they have completed their course. Participants may also get chance to work with our Sporting Champions – a team of current and retired elite athletes – who will visit Sportivate sessions to share their experiences.

As an additional incentive, teenagers and young adults who stick with sport will have the chance to enter a ballot for free London 2012 tickets. Sport England has hundreds of Olympic and Paralympic tickets available for Sportivate participants via the London 2012 Ticketshare initiative.

In order to be eligible for London 2012 Ticketshare, participants will need to complete the sports course, missing no more than one session, and then continue to participate in sport for at least three months.

Sportivate is an inclusive programme that will create opportunities for disabled and non-disabled participants. Courses on offer include:

  • Eight-week beginners’ judo courses in Lincoln
  • Beginners’ wakeboarding courses in the Cotswolds
  • Eight-week introduction to golf for disabled teenagers and young adults in Bedfordshire
  • Mixed tennis sessions for 17- to 24-year-olds in Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Football sessions for women in Trowbridge, Wiltshire
  • Athletics courses in Tooting Bec, London
  • Parkour/free running introductory courses at Waveney in Suffolk.

Sport England will invest £8 million of National Lottery funding per year over the next four years into Sportivate.

For more information on Sportivate, including how to get involved, check out the following link: http://www.sportengland.org/about_us/places_people_play/sportivate.aspx

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