This Girl Can win awards!Published Wednesday, 28th September 2016
A Council backed sports project has been named the best in Yorkshire for its inspiring work with young people.
The 'This Girl Can Club' in Rotherham was given the top honour by Sportivate, a Sport England programme which encourages young people to get more active.
More girls and women have been taking part in dance and fitness classes in the Eastwood Village locality through tailored fitness and dance sessions held in a safe and inclusive environment, thanks to partnership working between Places for People Leisure and Rotherham Council's Early Help and Family Engagement Service.
'This Girl Can Club' is one of many Sportivate funded projects around England which gives young people who weren't playing sport previously, the chance to discover a new activity by offering them six to eight weeks of intensive coaching.
Increasing physical activity and enhancing confidence and self-esteem is a priority for the Early Help and Family Engagement Service. Once the coaching sessions are completed, the participants are matched up with a local club or venue where they can continue to play to sustain the positive change.
In total, 12 girls have attended each of the weekly sessions in the area and all are still regularly playing the sport.
Cllr Taiba Yasseen, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Cultural Services said: "It doesn't matter if you're young or old, fit or unfit.
"This Girl Can reinforces the message that physical activity is great for everyone, regardless of ability, and girls and women shouldn't let fear of judgement put us off. Our Early Help service is committed to supporting young people to achieve better outcomes and part of this is embedding the benefits of physical exercise."
Director of Community Sport at Sport England, Mike Diaper, added: "Sportivate gives young people the right support and know–how they need to have the confidence to play sport in their own time. This Girl Can Club is a fantastic local project which is playing a huge role in changing young people's lives through sport. I congratulate them whole heartedly on this award and I wish them continued success."
Nigel Harrison, CEO of Yorkshire Sport Foundation, who commissioned the project said: "This project is a great example of Sportivate at its best. Offering coaching in a welcoming and supportive environment, young people who previously thought sport wasn't for them, get a second chance."