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MOReS was awarded a three-year grant from Sport England as part of their Community Sport Activation initiative.
The Community Sport Activation Fund is a £40 million National Lottery fund developed to support grassroots activity at a very local level and encourage regular/lifelong participation in sport.
The award will enable the Centre to implement and evaluate a pathway to sport for young people who stand at the back of the PE class, get picked last for teams and give up sport/exercise as soon as they are able to. Research has shown that the health and social outcomes in later life are often poorer for this cohort of school children.
In a previous pilot, the Centre has successfully engaged young people in sport, developing a habit of regular (minimum once a week, 30 minutes) sport attendance. This award enables us to introduce a larger number of young people to this pathway, and lifetime benefits of sport participation. Our pathway includes:
In order to deliver this pathway, the Centre has been working in partnership with 3 local schools to recruit our target young people from Year 9. Local EPIC (Engagement, Participation, Inclusion, Confidence in sport) clubs will be set up in order to build confidence and skills in a fun environment, so the young people succeed within their peer group and learn that sport can be fun. Sixth formers interested in pursuing a career in sports and/or business from the local schools will work with us in the set up and running of their local EPIC club.
This initiative is also supported by our long standing partner, Oxfordshire Sports Partnership, who will continue to help us develop exits to sports and clubs for our target group, as well as working with us to run the regular "Have a go" days where the young people can try different sports.
The project also provides the opportunity for Oxford Brookes students to be involved in the EPIC club session, enabling them to gain valuable work experience. They are also our secret ingredient. Experience has shown that the students act as motivational role models for the children and, in turn, the students benefit by working with the children and developing their own skills in how to motivate and build confidence in a challenging target group.
The award required us to raise some of the funding ourselves. Another of our long standing partners, the CLEAR Trust, helped us with this, alongside Oxford Brookes' Development unit.
The Centre will evaluate the broader aspects of the success of the project in terms of outcomes that go beyond the regular and continued participation in sport. This, in turn, will contribute to our growing body of data and evidence in the child themed leg of our research strategy.