My name is Darren and I’m the Project Coordinator for an exciting new venture: the launch of the Sports Horizon project within our Young Person’s Hub on Scotland Road.
The project has been long in the making and takes inspiration from our very successful AIMS services. The main driver for Sports Horizons is meaningful engagement in sporting activities by young people which helps them to broaden their horizons – hence the name!
What is the Sports Horizons Project?
Sport Horizons has been funded by Comic Relief and is a 12 month programme that supports 16 – 21 year olds who are in unsettled or insecure accommodation and who would benefit from a programme of personal development, sports inclusion and mentoring.
Our team will be made up of multi-disciplinary workers who have extensive experience supporting young people. Through sports inclusion and participation, the Sports Horizon team will offer tailored support that is flexible around the changing needs of young people.
What’s on offer within the Sports Horizons Project?
Through participation in team and individual sports, the young people accessing the program will be supported to develop and strengthen key transferrable skills in all parts of their life. Alongside developing and strengthening these key skills the young people will be supported to build resilience and through this help to improve their confidence and self-esteem.
The young people joining our programme will have access to a variety of different watersports and land-based activities, which include both individual and team events. Our water-based activities will take place at the highly innovative and successful Liverpool Watersports Centre and will include kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, open water swimming, dragon boat racing and power boating.
Our land based-activities (which will mostly be on offer during the winter months) include orienteering, rock climbing and indoor rowing. As part of each young person’s individual support plan some young people will also have access to boxing, football, circuit training and gym sessions in order to help further build their resilience, confidence and self-esteem.
Whilst the young people within the programme will be engaging with sport as a driver for change they will also have access to a personal mentor who will help to guide them through the challenges they may be facing in life and within their current accommodation situation. Young people will be supported to complete our tenancy skills course, the Resettlement Passport and to take part in pre-employment training and voluntary work placements.
A bit about me:
I have worked within the health and social care sector for over 10 years now and have worked in a variety of different areas within this field ranging from youth and information, advice and guidance work to working in residential children’s homes, secure training centre’s and leaving care services.
Through working in these different settings, I’ve gained a lot of experience that will be relevant to this project including: Setting young people up in their own tenancies; helping young people navigate the homeless system, supporting young people to gain the skills to sustain tenancies and helping them to get into education and employment.
Within the Sports Horizons programme I am looking forward to seeing the positive impact that sports inclusion can have on the young people involved within the project.
I know that taking part in sporting activities and a sporting residential will help the young people to develop transferable skills that will serve them throughout their lives.
I’m also looking forward to being able to offer young people on the program access to a variety of activities at Liverpool Watersports Centre that they may not have had the opportunity to try before - broadening their horizons and helping them to realise that nothing is out of their reach.