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Sports project helps young people turn their lives around

A new sports and activities programme designed to enhance the life-chances of disadvantaged young people has been launched by Big Issue Invest and Sport England

The Chances Programme which includes martial arts, dance, enterprise, photography, emergency aid, residential experiences and expeditions will support over 6,000 young people across the UK.

The investment will be used to create new opportunities to empower young people to get active and re-engage with education and skills provision; targeting those who are from low socio-economic backgrounds, have an offending record or low school attendance.

Recent research from the Alliance of Sport has shown that one in five young people report involvement in crime and antisocial behaviour and there are around 75,000 new entrants into the youth justice system every year.

Whilst research from Street Games suggests that young people from low socio-economic backgrounds are about 50% less likely to take part in regular sport, volunteer, compete, be coached or hold club membership than those from high income households.

Aqsa Asif, a Chances programme participant, said:

The time on Chances really helped me figure out my next steps in life. It got me into a really good headspace where I felt healthier, happier and the feeling I actually had something to contribute. It got me back on track with college.

The Chances Programme is currently delivered in Doncaster, Bristol and Devon and is now being rolled out to eighteen more local authority areas.

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England said:

Whilst it’s been hard for our children and young people to be active over the past year, this is an exciting project using physical activity to build happier and more productive lives and we are really proud to be a part of it.

Photo: Sport England