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Mental Health Initiative Tackles Cyber Bullying

By Alan Hendry, Jump2it Schools Education and Development Coordinator

 

For the last year Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) have developed a young person led Mental Health Steering Group. This steering group which is led by Scottish Sports Futures’ Wellbeing Ambassadors is focused on developing peer to peer training around raising awareness and sharing knowledge on a variety of mental health issues facing young people from various communities across Scotland. The main aims of the SSF Wellbeing Steering Group has been to improve knowledge and understanding of mental health, tackle the stigmas attached, improve young people’s confidence and promote the positive benefits which being physically active can have on mental wellbeing.

In the coming three months the Jump2it programme will be working with SSF’s Wellbeing ambassadors to develop educational content for primary school children focused around raising awareness of mental health issues and changing young people’s preconceptions and stigmas surrounding mental health.

Following on from consultation with teachers and pupils from various schools participating in the Jump2it programme this year, educational content around mental health seems to be placed very highly on the school’s agendas and is considered to be very much relevant to their pupils. This subject has also been closely tied to social media and the use of online platforms. In addition, there has been a need identified by teaching professionals around raising awareness of online safety within young people.

Through consultation with teachers and young people alike, it has become evident that these two subjects go hand in hand, with the rise of social media use clearly impacting upon the mental health of young people. Social media has increased the prevalence of cyber bullying ten-fold and with young people’s social lives increasingly moving online, this can lead to many damaging effects around mental health.

Never before has the use of social media and online platforms been so ingrained into the lives of young people in today’s society. Only now, 15 years after the launch of social media platforms back in 2004 are we beginning to see how the use of this technology is negatively impacting on the mental wellbeing of young people within our communities. It is now time to take action and raise awareness of this issue with young people within schools and wider communities.

Through the Jump2it programme our aim is to use positive sporting role models to communicate to young people the negative impacts and risks associated with the use of social media and online platforms. Alongside this educational material developed by SSF’s Wellbeing Ambassadors will also be used to enable the Glasgow Rocks players to confidently speak to children about mental health, what this is, the stigmas attached to it and how we can best support each other to look after our mental wellbeing.

 

For more information on our Jump2it Schools Programme contact Alan Hendry – alan@ssf.org.uk 

Jump2it Use Education to Change Lives Through Sport

 

By Alan Hendry, Jump2it Schools and Education Development Coordinator

 

As a charity, Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) has a long-standing history of utilising the power of sport and physical activity to create innovative initiatives in which sport and youth work elements are intentionally used to bring about positive benefits for at-risk individuals and communities across Scotland. The impact of these programmes go well beyond simply improving participation in sport, towards developing areas such as community integration, physical and mental well-being and self-efficacy. At SSF we are aware that sport has a specific ability to transcend cultural and social barriers, providing a tool for engagement which is unparalleled in its ability to reach the most difficult to reach and at-risk groups.

For 19 years SSF have combined elements of sport and youth work in an attempt to create impactful programmes to support young people to reach their full potential, make positive lifestyle decisions and change their own lives for the better. During this time, SSF has built on the collaborative work with many regional and national partners with the main focus of using sport to provide opportunities to educate, and equip young people with the relevant knowledge, skills, experience and confidence to reach their own positive destinations. The collaborative work around this specific focus has brought SSF into the space which is now nationally recognised as ‘SportForChange’.

Within the Jump2it programme, we work very closely with the Radisson Red Glasgow Rocks to deliver educational content within primary schools across various local authority areas. The Glasgow Rocks players are used as professional sporting role models in an attempt to engage with children in a way in which cannot be achieved by a teacher or education professional. Using the power of sport and professional sporting athletes as the ‘hook’ to engage with children has proven to be particularly effective in delivering key educational messages. This has also proven to be effective in terms of information retention and attitudinal/behavioural change within young people which the programme is targeted towards.

Many young people have highlighted the influence of the Glasgow Rocks players on their own lifestyle changes, with many young people reporting that their behaviours are changing towards a healthier and more active lifestyle as a direct result of the input from the Glasgow Rocks players. One participant has stated:

The Rocks taught us about knife crime, alcohol, getting sleep and health and well-being. I eat healthier now. I eat a lot of fruit, more than five a day now”.

Another participant added:

I like basketball a lot more now since the Rocks players came and spoke to us. I am a lot more active than I was before.

In addition, with the well-established network of SSF programmes and partner organisations, we are also able to offer young people various pathways into continued and sustained positive physical activity long after the conclusion of the Jump2it programme.

The power of sport simply cannot be underestimated. With the ability to change the lives of young people and entire communities in a way in which very few activities can, sport should be considered as a key tool for community engagement.

 

 

 

Jump2it Recognises Contributions of Sessional Staff

 By Alan Hendry, Jump2it Schools and Education Development Coordinator

All of our staff here at Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) highly value and appreciate the work of our paid and voluntary workforce. Without a dedicated and committed coach and volunteer base, which we rely upon on a daily basis, we would never be able to carry out anywhere near the same level of impactful delivery we have done over previous years, effectively changing the lives of thousands of young people across Scotland. It is for this reason that SSF continues to celebrate and recognise the hard work of our paid and voluntary staff through our annual SSF Awards Night, sponsored by SportScotland. This is a chance for the charity to celebrate the work and impact which the we have achieved over the last 12 months, with the help of our sessional staff, volunteers, young people and delivery partners.

Daniel Masters is one of the many Jump2it sessional staff members which we feel deserves formal recognition for his work within the Jump2it programme over the last year. As a result Daniel has been nominated for two SSF awards under the categories of ‘Spirit of The Year’ and ‘Event Champion of the Year’.

Daniel has worked on the Jump2it programme as a sessional coach for just over a year. During this time he has continually excelled in his position as a coach and has often gone above and beyond what is expected of any sessional staff member. Daniel’s proactive approach during Jump2it tournaments have assisted in providing and delivering outstanding community events, which allow young people from across various local authorities to come together in a fun and engaging environment, break down social and cultural barriers and share in the celebration of sport.

Throughout his time as a sessional staff member, Daniel has continually excelled at engaging with young people on a personal level. His bubbly and charismatic personality allows young people to naturally gravitate towards him as a coach. His ability to generate a fun, positive and engaging atmosphere is unparalleled. The manner in which Daniel delivers his sessions with the young people provides a truly unique and memorable experience for everyone involved.

At an organisational level Daniel is viewed as a brilliant ambassador for SSF, sharing similar values. Daniel has continually exceeded expectations, achieved his own ambitions, and supported young people to help them achieve their own. Throughout all elements of his work with SSF, Daniel has delivered a fun and engaging service which is continually underpinned by his compassion and dedication towards the young people who the Jump2it programme works with. Daniel’s drive, dedication and most of all his spirit make him a positive role model not only for the children he works with but also for his fellow coaches and staff alike. Daniel has established himself as a true Champion for SSF as an organisation.

 

For more information on our Awards Night head to our Awards Home Page

Interview with Rocks Community Club Volunteer

 Jump2it and Rocks Community Club (RCC) Coordinator Stephanie McLean interviews volunteer Abbie Fox about girls’ participation and her own experience in sport.

Tell us about your experience in sport.

I started doing Taekwondo when I was 7 years old and I achieved my black belt by the time I was 9. I achieved this through hard work and fantastic support from my instructors. I wanted to try a different sport, so I tried out basketball when I was 8 and I began training and learning about the sport with Drumoyne RCC. I want to play more basketball and practise more so I joined the team Glasgow Fever and I have been playing with them ever since.

 

Why do you choose to take part in Sport?

I choose to take part in sport because it gives me the opportunity to make more friends and interact with more people my age who have the same interests as me. I also do it because it helps me maintain my fitness and is my passion.

 

What life-skills do you feel you have learnt through taking part in Sport?

Some of the main life skills I have learnt through sport is how to be confident in my own choices and voice my opinion, how to work in a team and how to keep fit and maintain the level of fitness that I’m comfortable with.

Rocks Community Club Volunteer Abbie Fox

Rocks Community Club Volunteer Abbie Fox

How do you think we can make Sport more accessible to girls & young women?

I think we should advertise and create more all-female clubs and promote it to the younger generation so that girls can not only get involved in sport but learn some essential life skills along the way.

 

Tell us about your reasons for volunteering at Drumoyne RCC.

My reason for volunteering at Drumoyne RCC is I started at this club and I’ve seen it grow so I feel like I’m giving back to the club for helping me follow my dreams in basketball. I also enjoy helping getting more young people into sports and encouraging them to make friends.

Lastly, who is your female sporting remodel & why? 

My female role model would have to be my Glasgow Fever coach Rachel. She has helped me to improve my game by giving me advice, helping me to achieve my goals and it also helps to watch her play. She is a physiotherapist and that is what I aspire to be, as well as an amazing basketball player just like her. My other female role model is also Nicola Adams. She has inspired me that you can come from a completely normal background and if you work extremely hard you can achieve your goal.

Abbie with coach Josh and Rocks Community Club participants

Abbie with coach Josh and Rocks Community Club participants

Jump2it Reaps the Benefits of National Partnerships

 
By Alan Hendry, Jump2it Education and Development Coordinator

We at Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) believe that all young people should have access to quality sporting provision, and that they should be guided, mentored and supported to realise and reach their full potential. We appreciate that sport can transcend social and cultural boundaries, and has the ability to be used as a tool to educate, upskill and change the lives of young people and their communities. It is for this very reason that we aim to understand the needs of the young people and place them at the heart of all of our programmes.

Utilising the power of sport and physical activity as a tool to bring about positive societal change has long been recognised as a valuable strategy within community development. It is widely acknowledged that participation in sport and physical activity can bring about changes in physical, psychological and social well-being. However, the ‘Sport For Change’ agenda aims to distinguish which approaches are most effective to bring about these changes with a particular focus placed on partnership networking and collaboration.  

The ‘Sport For Change’ agenda is defined as using sport and physical activity as a means of intentionally bringing about positive benefits for both communities and their individuals to meet specific needs within localities. Within this concept sport is used as the hook to engage with individuals, groups or communities and bring about societal change. Although this is a relatively new approach within its wider context and application, we at Scottish Sports Futures have been utilising this model for the last 18 years within our ‘Sport For Change’ programmes.

SSF work with a network of with both local and national partner organisations, professional sporting clubs and role models, and national governing bodies with the aim of encouraging participation in physical activity, as well as promoting physical and mental well-being, community integration and self-efficacy within young people. This approach has allowed us to form a network of partner organisations with combined knowledge around sport and community development and an appreciation of community needs and local young people, which has brought us into this space known as ‘Sport For Change’.

Within the ‘Sport For Change’ agenda there is a pressing need for organisations to adopt a joined up working approach. In today’s economic climate, partnership working is more important than ever before. Collaboration has become a major focus within the third sector in recent years, and with funding pots dwindling there is even more demand on organisations to achieve more with less resources. However, out of this financial necessity comes the possibility of driving forward real innovative change and different approaches to the ‘Sport For Change’ model. The key is to delivering innovative, young person-centred programmes with limited budgets, is to adopt collaborative approaches to delivery.

Partnership working allows organisations to share learning, local knowledge, networks and resources. Adopting a collaborative approach offers different organisations, groups and networks the opportunity to combine forces to tackle development challenges whilst at the same time simultaneously reaping organisational benefits and achieving mutually desired outcomes. 

The purpose of creating networking opportunities is to enable organisations to share best practice and learning, receive training and support collectively to promote joint working approaches. Vital to collaborative working is to identify the desired outcomes of sport and physical activity programmes by each organisation and to work together to ensure that the work complements the work of the other and that work is not duplicated.

All SSF initiatives have been designed with the young people at the heart of decision making, and are specifically designed to encourage participation in physical activity as well as promoting physical and mental well-being, community integration and self-efficacy.

Utilising our sport for change model, SSF have excelled in creating effective partnerships and local networks bringing together local knowledge, youth work and sporting approaches for the most effective sustainable impacts for young people across Scotland. 

Through collaborative work with a variety of community groups, Jump2it have been successful in achieving local community development as well as promoting various community benefits such as volunteerism, active citizenship, community well-being and the creation of local social networks for young people within a sport for change environment.

One effective example of this partnership approach within the Sport for Change model can be demonstrated through the Jump2it’s collaborative work with Police Scotland. Over the last year Jump2it have worked very closely with Police Scotland’s community engagement teams in an attempt to break down barriers and perceptions between police and youngsters within the Glasgow area, while also driving forward community focused outcomes of integration and community well-being. This has proven to be a very effective means of bridging gaps in relations between Police Scotland and the young people of Glasgow, all the while effectively promoting wider inclusion within a ‘Sport For Change’ environment.

Jump2it Community Engagement


By Alan Hendry, Jump2it Education and Development Coordinator

Over the last decade Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) has established itself as a vehicle for community engagement and development across Scotland. Utilising the power of positive role models, SSF’s community programme Jump2it educates children on the importance of healthy lifestyles and positive lifestyle decisions, using basketball as the hook to engage with youngsters.

One of the many aims of the Jump2it programme is to create opportunities for community development throughout Scotland. Jump2it is delivered in collaboration with local partners within each area, and has continued to effectively demonstrate itself as a vehicle for community development by promoting social inclusion. The programme also provides various other community benefits such as volunteerism, active citizenship and community well-being, along with the creation of social networks in each local area. Working in close collaboration with a variety of partners including schools, the Glasgow Rocks, Active Schools, Police Scotland, and the young people themselves, Jump2it has been successful in using sport and education as a tool to bring excluded groups together. Through this partnership working, the Jump2it programme has been successful at bridging gaps within communities and promoting effective social inclusion within a ‘Sport for Change’ environment.

Over the last year Jump2it have worked particularly closely with Police Scotland’s community engagement teams in an attempt to break down barriers and perceptions between police and youngsters within the Glasgow areas. Officers from Police Scotland’s Community Safety Teams have also been involved with the hands on delivery of the Jump2it programme alongside the Glasgow Rocks players. The police have taken an active role in speaking with children about the dangers of knife crime and the importance of online safety. This has proven to be a very effective means of bridging gaps in relations between Police Scotland and the youngsters of Glasgow, all the while promoting wider inclusion within an open, safe environment.

In addition to this the Police Scotland Youth Volunteer (PSYV) programme has also taken on an active voluntary role at this season’s Glasgow Rocks home games. This group of volunteers has taken on the responsibilities of stewarding throughout the season, which has been very warmly received by the Glasgow Rocks team and fans. 

Through collaborative working, Jump2it and Police Scotland have been able to achieve particularly high levels of community engagement throughout Glasgow. Police Scotland and the PSYV have played a massive role in the delivery of the Jump2it programme and Glasgow Rocks game day experiences, and have also engaged with the local young people through every stage of the Jump2it programme.

Jump2It Promotes Health and Well-being

 By Alan Hendry, Jump2It Education and Development Coordinator

Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) has long used sport and physical activity as a valuable tool to improve different aspects of health and well-being, including various elements of physical and mental well-being. Our ‘Sport for Change’ programmes not only contribute towards mental and physical well-being, but the early intervention programmes also offer young people opportunities to develop essential skills related to resilience, emotional literacy, and communication skills.

At SSF we specialise in promoting positive education through early intervention programmes in an attempt to counter mental and physical health issues within young people. Adopting a practical approach utilising sport as a vehicle to communicate vital health and well-being messages helps young people to overcome a variety of barriers, while at the same time building skills relating to resilience and self-efficacy. This contributes effectively towards both the physical and mental well-being of the young people.

In particular the Jump2it programme utilises sport and professional athletes as positive role models, as a vehicle to raise awareness on health and social issues. The Jump2it programme uses the impact of professional athletes as positive role models to mobilise hard to reach groups that are most likely to be negatively impacted by health and well-being issues. Physical inactivity has been identified as a major contributing risk factor linked with various diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and obesity; highlighting the importance and the need for early intervention initiatives around health and well-being.

The Jump2it programme exploits sport as a didactic tool within a ‘Sport for Change’ environment in order to communicate vital health related information to children within at risk communities across the country. The Glasgow Rocks players have established themselves as positive role models, as well as valuable assets in our aim of providing young people with the necessary knowledge and learning required to make positive lifestyle choices which directly contribute to their health and well-being.

Within the Jump2it programme, heavy focus is paid towards linking with the Curriculum For Excellence (CFE).

The CFE clearly places high importance on nurturing young people to develop their own skills and knowledge required to reach positive mental, social and physical well-being throughout their school lives, within their communities and into their later lives. By aligning the Jump2it programme closely to the health and well-being outcomes of the CFE, the programme allows for learning to take place which directly contributes to the young person’s health and well-being, as well as promoting improved confidence, independent thinking and positive outlooks.

Within SSF we believe that being physically active, and having good general health and well-being is a major cornerstone to personal development for young people. In our opinion it is the responsibility of everyone who works with young people to establish a supportive environment, one which facilitates opportunities for learning and development whilst also promoting and providing opportunities for the development for good health and well-being into later life.

Comedy Club to raise funds for SSF

Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) is having a charity fundraiser at The Stand Comedy Club on Wednesday, 28th June 2017 to raise money to support the work we do with over 10,000 disadvantaged young people across Scotland annually.

Join us and share a few laughs during the week and help us raise lots of cash for a good cause!

The Stand Comedy Club has been around for many years and is an intimate venue located in the West End of Glasgow which has seen many famous comedians grace its doors over the years including Kevin Bridges, Frankie Boyle, Fred Macaulay and lots more!

Confirmed acts include:-

Headline Act – Chris Forbes from BBC Scotland ‘Scot Squad’

Stuart Mitchell

Kirsty Morrison

Joseph Goss

Billy Kirkwood

There will be a raffle on the night and there is a full cash bar on-site!

Tickets can be purchased on eventbrite for £8 plus £1.04 booking fee per ticketclick here

You can also reserve tickets by calling The Stand 0141 212 3389 and are £8 payable cash on the door.

Sign-up to bring young people to a fun filled Sport4all event!

FREE ACTIVITIES, FREE LUNCH and PRIZES.

 

We are inviting families, organisations and groups across Glasgow to bring  young people along to a fun filled active event for all.

On Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd July SSF – Active East will be hosting a weekend of sport, physical activity and play opportunities delivered by partners for young people in the North East of Glasgow, taking place at Tollcross International Swimming Centre!

“sport for all” means making sport accessible to all members of our communities, as a vehicle for integration, empowerment and well-being. It engages everyone to move, play and compete together with people from different backgrounds, ages & abilities. This event will:

 

  • Be FREE
  • Be fun and exciting
  • Link young people across the East of Glasgow with local opportunities to be active
  • Include an exciting interactive marketplace for families and young people to find out local opportunities
  • Have an under 8’s drop-in Zone
  • Taster sessions for young people aged 8+ including: Boxing, Active play, Gymnastics, Athletics, Judo, Cricket, Basketball and much more!
  • A pool party – at Tollcross after our event on the Sunday 4 – 6pm (please note groups/parents will then be responsible for supervising young people)

Sign up now!

  • Families, organisations and groups are invited to bring along young people aged 8+ on the Saturday and on the Sunday for the full day (9:30-4pm) for the taster sessions
  • Spaces for the full day of taster sessions are allocated on a first come first serve basis
  • Sport4All – Booking Form – please complete this and send over as soon as possible to secure your spaces by Thursday 20th July
  • There will be fun activities for under 8’s who come along to get involved, this is on a drop in basis between 10-12pm and 13:00 and 15.15pm each day

If you have any questions about the event please get in touch at colin@ssf.org.uk or call 0141 218 4640

 

NEW CEO APPOINTMENT FOR SCOTTISH SPORTS FUTURES

 

It is with sadness that we have said goodbye to our founding CEO, Ian Reid, who, after over 18 years of dedicated hard work has grown the charity to the success it is today.  We wish him well in his chosen retirement.

Exciting times are ahead with our new appointment of CEO, namely Pam Hunter.  Pam, originally born in Glasgow, comes back home after 20 years away.  She comes with a breadth of experience in both the private and voluntary sectors, is educated in leadership to MBA level and has volunteered in counselling and charity boards.  Her spare time is filled with sport at any opportunity.

Pam Hunter said:

“I am really excited and thrilled to be starting this position and look forward to working with a great team.  Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy physical activity and get the life affirming benefits derived from it.  Our duty is to make this available to all young people across the length and breadth of Scotland.”

Charles Cormack, Chair said:

“This is a time of mixed emotions, with a sad farewell to Ian and an excited welcome to Pam.  After a rigorous recruitment process, Pam rose to the top.  We look forward to the future leadership Pam will bring to SSF with confidence”