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.