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The covid-19 pandemic has led to groups thinking differently about delivery of activities
The covid-19 pandemic has led to groups thinking differently about delivery of activities

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London Sport supports young people with digital activities through November lockdown

Young people across London were supported through November’s lockdown with a variety of online techniques as London Sport continues to support community groups adjust to the pandemic.

London Sport provided funding for groups affiliated to London Youth and Sported to attend a workshop by creative studio Triple Double to enable them to be imaginative and agile in their delivery.

The workshop was designed to encourage youth leaders to think differently about the delivery of their sessions in case face-to-face sessions in London were, once again, hit by a covid-19 restrictions.

In addition to facilitating new ideas, the workshops also worked to bring community organisations together to connect, share ideas and inspire each other.

Workshop participants rediscovered the need for their activities to be youth-led, emphasising the importance of engaging with young people and ensuring their involvement in session planning.

The organisations also built their resilience around learning from ideas that don’t work and were reminded about the importance of building in social time to the delivery of physical activity.

One workshop participant said: “Despite everything, we are optimistic for the future and are focusing on instilling that thinking within our young people. Sport is going to help us all come through this.”

Another commented: “We are seeing this already as transformational for the young people and how we can sustain this and encompass the holistic wellbeing for young people beyond the initial 30 weeks.”

Many of the groups subsequently applied for Sport England Satellite Club funding in October, distributed by London Sport, to put their new ideas into practice with young people in the capital.

November’s lockdown gave organisations an early opportunity to test their new techniques and it is hoped such methods will be suitable for long-term delivery throughout 2021 and beyond.

Lawrence Roots, London Sport’s Senior Finance, People and Governance Officer, said:

“It has been an extremely difficult year for the entire grassroots physical activity and sport sector with young people being hit particularly hard with the closure of schools and many clubs.

“We’re determined to help young people across London and know that supporting clubs through the likes of London Youth and Sported will enhance the opportunities available to them.

“The willingness of the clubs to think differently and adapt throughout the year has been key and has enabled many young people to enjoy the benefits of being active despite the pandemic.”

Paul Jenkins, Founder & Creative Director at Triple Double, said:

“Sport and physical activity in 2020 for all age groups has been stretched to breaking point but, if there is one thing we can all rely on with young people especially, it’s their brilliant resilience.

“Helping the clubs collectively explore, unpack, brainstorm and challenge their existing and new ideas for delivery of physical activity is exactly the type of approach their young audiences will need, and expect, during 2021 and beyond.

It was a real privilege to see the clubs' confidence go from strength to strength during the workshops, and we're excited to see how this impacts them and their young people for the better.”

John Jones, London Youth’s Sports Development Manager, said:

“As a sector, we’ve had to front up and explore how we support young people to lead active lives when our core face-to-face delivery has, for much of 2020, been removed.

“It’s why I’m so grateful to London Sport for their investment and openness to exploring hybrid approaches through ten trusted London Youth members.

“The connection with Triple Double brought real creativity and a point of difference, the organisations involved were much better prepared for the second lockdown.

“They moved delivery online and have been able to keep supporting the young people’s wellbeing and mental health throughout.”

Chris Sawyer, Sported’s Strategic Lead for London, added:

“Sported are always keen to work in collaboration to fully support members do what they do best. This year, with the pandemic, collaboration and knowledge sharing has never been so important.

“It was important for us to encourage members to think differently about delivery, learn from others within and outside the sector, and consider the benefits of adapting new approaches to their work.

“It was obvious early on in the pandemic that, for our members to continue to engage and serve their own participants, new and innovative tactics or techniques would need to be adopted.

“The workshops with Triple Double helped develop some of those ideas and we strongly believe they will remain relevant, important and be embedded within our members’ future work.”

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Andrew Lawton

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