The health of thousands of inactive people could benefit thanks to an innovative new partnership between two charities.Sporta and the Football League Trust have joined forces to pilot an exciting new programme to increase sports participation and improve health in Doncaster for people aged 35-55. This is an age group which has proved notoriously difficult to engage with in the past. However this new partnership creates a massive resource for delivering sport and leisure activities which is able to engage with hard to reach groups. Sporta is the UK’s representative body for sport and leisure trusts and The Football League Trust is the national body which unites the community trusts that are affiliated to 72 football league clubs.
The pilot project in Doncaster, entitled ‘Moving Together’ and will see Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT), and Club Doncaster Foundation work together to increase participation in sport by 300 local people aged 35 to 55 at four venues across the town. Club Doncaster is the foundation linking together Doncaster Rovers FC and Doncaster Rugby League FC, and DCLT is a charity delivering leisure and culture provision across 12 sites across the town. Together they have been awarded £15,000 of Sport England’s Lottery Funding to pilot the project, which if successful could be rolled out nationally.
Led by Club Doncaster coaches, the project will offer badminton, cricket and football, initially in an informal, fun and non-competitive environment. The 12-week sessions will become slightly more formal and will create mini leagues and cross site competitions across the four venues. The methods of recruiting and retaining inactive people through local professional clubs, the community outreach and facilities of both the trust and foundation will provide valuable learning and insight.
The project is part of the Sporta wider, Make Your Move programme which has seen over 30 charitable leisure trusts across England benefit from Sport England Lottery Funding.
Craig Aubrey, DCLT’s Community Sports Officer commented "DCLT are excited to work with Sporta, The Football League Trust and Club Doncaster on this new project. We believe this project will help kick start the health of many in Doncaster, using all four partners to ensure the quality and sustainability of the initiative. As a charitable trust with Doncaster's health at heart, we believe this complements many of the other programmes we deliver, and we look forward to it's success."
“Club Doncaster are delighted to be partnering with DCLT to deliver an inspiring and motivating programme to adults to encourage them to get active. We take great pride in becoming the pilot programme for Sporta along with The Football League Trust. Our high quality programme will offer an opportunity for local people to take part in a range of activities to lead to a positive change in their lifestyle” Gareth Cook, Club Doncaster, Community Participation Manager.
This project is part of the £1.27 million that has been allocated to sporta member trusts who are all non-distributing profit organisations from the Make Your Move programme. This new national partnership between sporta and The Football League Trust is the start of relationship that can continue into the next Make Your Move funding round and beyond.
Sporta’s CEO, Brian Leonard commented that “this new project in Doncaster shows the great ability and enthusiasm of local trusts and charities to help more people in their communities become more active. DCLT and Club Doncaster have come forward with an imaginative proposal, thanks to a positive relationship created nationally between Sporta and The Football League Trust”
Mike Evans, Director of Operations at the Football League Trust, comments, “Football inspires passion in many people which enables us to engage with hard to reach groups - together our community Trusts engage with over 1.5 million people each year. Working with Sporta and its network of Culture and Leisure Trust is a really significant collaboration which creates the opportunity to improve the health of thousands of people.”
A third round of funding will be open early in 2015. Anyone wishing to apply should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information on the programme can be found at www.makeyourmoveuk.org or @sportaUK #makeyrmove.