A personal development programme for young people of Liverpool, delivered by Merseyside Youth Association, has been hailed a success after results show significant increased levels of ongoing sports participation.
MYA’s year-long Unite for Sport programme, which was funded by Sport England and Children in Need; supported by Liverpool City Council Neighbourhood and Sports Development Team; Cobalt Housing; and the Norris Green Community Alliance, targeted 10 – 18 year olds across four North Liverpool communities.
Funding was provided to offer a wide range of sporting activities, as well as provision of facilities and personal development, including advice and support on a range of issues.
Operations Manager at MYA, Liam Corcoran, explained: “The programme was designed to not only improve health and wellbeing, but also enhance young persons’ opportunities for a better future, by building their social and communication skills, boosting morale, and instilling confidence and self-belief.
“We are delighted with the results. Having conducted pre and post evaluation to measure the impact and success of this programme, we’ve seen a range of improvements, including attitudes towards health and wellbeing, sports participation and most notably – improved levels of behaviour demonstrated by a reduction of participants getting into trouble both in school and on the streets.”
Joe Morgan, from M&H Academy, one of the delivery partners said: “The impact on some of these young people has been fantastic. Over 70% of the participants said they would now consider sport over watching the TV, compared to 42% prior to completing the programme, whilst the frequency of them taking part in sport has increased from three times a week to five.”
MYA’s chief executive, Gill Bainbridge added: “As a keen sportswoman myself, I know the impact sport can have in the personal and social development of young people. It not only offers many transferable skills, but also creates a life long passion and interest which supports ongoing physical and mental health and wellbeing.
“I am proud of the achievement of Unite for Sport and its contribution to MYA’s 120 year history of delivering sporting activity which creates positive and lasting change in the lives of Merseyside’s young people.”
The below video was created to document the impact this project had-