Greenhouse Sports responds to new Sport England strategy
Greenhouse Sports welcomes the new Sport England strategy and its focus on the benefits sport can bring to society as a whole.
As a sport for social change charity, Greenhouse Sports works in some of London’s most disadvantaged communities to deliver outstanding, intensive sports programmes delivered by inspirational coaches. We use the power of sport to inspire and motivate young people so they can reach their full potential.
The shift in Sport England’s strategy from simply increasing sport participation to now looking at sport as a force for social good is pivotal because it gets to the heart of what sport can do best: change lives.
Since we were founded in 2002, we have seen this first-hand in the 38,000 young people with whom we have worked through the growth and development of not only their physical skills, but also their social, emotional and thinking capabilities.
The strategy’s focus on including traditionally under represented groups, including those from low socio-economic backgrounds is key to realising this goal. Research shows that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds have lower levels of sport participation, poorer physical health, are less likely to have the life skills and positive social networks to help them thrive at school and in later life, and are at a higher risk of participating in anti-social behaviour and crime. Because of research like this, Greenhouse Sports works in schools where at least two thirds of pupils live in areas of high deprivation and our programmes are designed to help the young people we work with overcome these barriers.
We are also encouraged to see local delivery as an area of focus, as it ensures funds will get directly to those who need it most. Page 32 of the strategy states: “In the past we have invested in a small number of charities who use sport for wider development purposes…this type of investment will be a much stronger theme in our new approach.”
Greenhouse Sports does exactly this: our coaches are on the ground in local communities across London delivering sport for development programmes to young people. As a delivery organisation, we use the investment of funders to contribute directly to outcomes. Every programme our coaches deliver is tailored to ensure it complements the needs of the school, the pupils, the staff, and the local community as we know from experience this is the most impactful approach.
On the heels of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s strategy, where Greenhouse Sports was highlighted as a case study for ‘changing lives through sport’, Sport England’s holistic approach to sport funding is a continued step in the right direction, and we look forward to working with them and the sport sector as a whole to deliver this strategy.