Sport and physical activity are powerful tools and by engaging all sections of the community, they can help to break down barriers, bring people together to share positive experiences and gain a greater understanding of each other’s lives.
Sport can enrich people’s quality of life, by improving health and well-being. It can help raise self-esteem and confidence and provide enjoyment, which in turn builds stronger, safer communities, strengthens the economy and helps to develop the skills of local people.
Sportercise is a multi-faceted company, recently developed in the Liverpool area. This company has developed a programme of initiatives to overcome barriers restricting participation in sport and physical activity amongst young people in the community. The government modernising agenda continues to have an impact on the services delivered. The Recreation Best Value Review, the Customer Focus Initiative, Public, Private, Partnership, the Local Performance Service Agreement (LPSA), the Investors in People Programme and more recently legislation from The Children ACT 2004 sets out new statutory duties and accountabilities for children’s services on local government and other service providers. This is supported by a new national framework for children and young people set out in Every Child Matters and summarised in the table below.
The fundamental aspect of the Every Child Matters national framework is that services are built around the needs of young people. The framework is based on five key outcomes that children say are important to their well – being now and in later life i.e. being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well – being.
Research evidence demonstrates the contribution that sport and physical activity can make in meeting the Every Child Matters agenda nationally.
Sport reduces the risk of illness and ill health for young people can help to prevent or tackle obesity and contributes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Sport can promote community cohesion and decrease the likelihood of young people being the victims of youth crime or anti-social behaviour, bullying or discrimination. It can also help to reduce some accidents among young people.
az¤Enjoying and achieving
Sport assists young people to learn and attain educational standards, contributes to their personal and social development and to their enjoyment of leisure time.
az¤Making a positive contribution
Sport engages young people in community activity, reduces the likelihood of them being involved in youth crime or anti-social behaviour; develops their self confidence and encourages positive behaviour and relationships.
az¤Achieving economic well being
Sport helps young people to become economically active through providing training and employment opportunities both directly and indirectly
In partnership with relevant agencies, the local and regional sporting community, public, private and voluntary sector organisations in Merseyside for example; Liverpool Youth Service, Liverpool Youth Offending Team, Liverpool Local Education Authority and Local sports clubs. Sportercise will continue to develop a wide range of recreational, health, and sporting opportunities throughout the area.
The Government’s Policy Action Team 10 Report of the Social Exclusion Unit’s work, recognises the part sport can play in economic regeneration and the promotion of community spirit. The report shows how sport can not only make a valuable contribution to delivering key outcomes of lower long-term employment, less crime, better health and better qualifications. It demonstrates how sport can develop individual pride, community spirit and the capacity to enable communities to implement regeneration programmes for themselves and is a strong endorsement of the policies and activities, which Sportercise has developed in Liverpool.
Investment in sport “is not just a sports policy. It’s a health policy, an education policy, an anti crime policy, and an anti – drugs policy” (Rt Hon Tony Blair, Prime Minister, September 2000).
Sportercise is committed to ensuring equality of access for all members of the community. This will be achieved through liaison with relevant target groups to tackle issues of social exclusion, gun and knife culture, barriers to participation and the development of sport, recreation / health and physical activity within the community.
1.1 Mission Statement
The Sportercise Team are committed to developing diverse and high quality programme of sports and physical activity for all people of Liverpool. Sportercise aims to promote a positive sporting and educational environment in order for young people and the community to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, raising awareness of nutrition, healthy eating, education and participation in sport.
1.2 Key Aims and objectives
Sportercise will provide sporting, physical activity and health related opportunities for children, young people and families who wish to participate in sport more frequently, with special consideration given to the sedentary population and people with disabilities.
Sportercise will continue the development of the physical activity programme through their work and the implementation of the following:
Organised sports and physical activities, competitions and events
Curriculum/after school initiatives/breakfast clubs
Holiday schemes/weekend schemes/sporting camps
Taster sessions for all ages and abilities
Training, leadership and coaching opportunities for teachers, youth workers, clubs, parents and volunteers interested in supporting the work of the project
Specialised assistance for people with disabilities to increase participation in sport
To work with the proposed Sub Regional Sports & Physical Activity Partnerships to implement an agreed programme of sporting/health related opportunities across Liverpool.
Improve pathways and exit routes for talented young people to fulfil their full potential
To provide an in depth mentoring programme for school children, looked after children and youth clubs.
initiative so that the whole family can participate in sport and physical activity (dads & lads, to create an active families, mums & daughters)
To organise and run sports days in Primary Schools that encourages the whole family.
To offer the local school children an opportunity to access and experience alternative activities during the school holidays through local play schemes. Thus allowing those individuals excluded from sport the opportunity to access activities, arts and crafts and alternative forms of exercise.
To provide accredited awards for individuals to work towards, such as the sports leaders awards and NGB qualifications.
The objectives of the programme being to:
Reduce childhood obesity and promote a culture of physical activity
Reduce the risk of anti social behaviour
Reduce the risk of bullying and violence
Improve self confidence and self esteem
Improve self image
Tackle barriers that prevents young people from taking part in physical activity
Make friends and integrate with someone from different cultures and race
Learn new skills and try something completely new
2. THE STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK
A strategic management framework for the Cultural, Tourism and Sport Department has been developed and adopted by Sportercise to ensure that the organisation contributes to Merseyside Sport Vision, values and priorities. It is this process by which continuous improvement within the service will be monitored and reviewed. The Merseyside Sports partnership works with the 5 main community sports networks of Wirral, Halton, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helen’s and Liverpool The main priorities of this sports partnership are to:
Increase the number of people participating in sport
Widen access to opportunities for sport and active recreation
Bring together and align partners; existing priorities and targets within one joined up local action plan for active recreation in the community sports network, based on the needs of the local community.
Over the next 4 years Sportercise aims to promote sport and physical activity across Merseyside, providing numerous opportunities for all people to have access to a variety of sporting activities, regardless of ability.
Sportercise – 4 Year Plan
Year 1 – Focus on South Liverpool, whilst making links with other areas
Year 2 – Focus on South Liverpool and Central Liverpool, whilst making links with other areas
Year 3 – Focus on South Liverpool, Central Liverpool and North Liverpool whilst making links with other areas
Year 4 – Focus on the whole of Merseyside
This vision relates heavily towards Liverpool City Council’s overall vision and values (where this project will initially be set up). Liverpool City Council’s Vision and Values have been developed to guide the organisation and the service delivery it provides. The Council aspires to ‘create a district where everyone values the importance of being physically active and has the opportunity to be so’. This drives the Council’s strategic plans and policies, including the Community Strategy, Local Cultural Strategy and departmental service plans. Supporting this vision the Council has developed, through consultation, six corporate priorities; which Sportercise aims to contribute towards, these are:
Building the Infrastructure and settings –
This is concerned with Increasing and improving the quality of accessible facilities and opportunities to participate in sport and physical activity across the Merseyside
Encouraging healthier lifestyle –
Looking to raise the awareness of the value of physical activity and sport, whilst also taking into consideration of the opportunities available to young people
Aim to promote a wider variety of activities and not necessarily the more traditional ones. Also developing a sport structure to help individuals change their attitudes and become more active.
Closing the Gap –
To address and remove the barriers which prevent people participating in sport, through increasing physical activity opportunities for minority ethnic groups and disadvantaged communities
Create an equal opportunity for everyone to enjoy and participate in sport and physical activity
Meeting the needs of children, young people and families –
Improve the quality time spent of families participating in sport and physical activity to encourage healthier lifestyles.
Develop the message that’s ‘its cool to be active’ through the use of both traditional and non traditional activities,
Develop programmes specifically designed for those people at are obese or at risk of becoming obese, identify gifted and talented people and providing exit routes and performance pathways for them to compete at the highest level.
Increase the participation of older people to improve their health by the active families initiative.
Active Ageing –
Introduce initiatives to get older people more involved in physical activity whether this be through participation or mentoring younger people in a bid to get them to be more active.
Building Capacity –
Increase resources available for sport and physical activity through developing effective partnerships.
Develop a workforce within Merseyside who are experienced in the delivery of sport and physical activity that can help identify and nurture talent.
By Sportercise focusing on the same strategic aims and priorities as Merseyside and the Cultural, Tourism and Sport Department consistency in the approach to tackling these priorities will be achieved and will ensure that improvements occur in priority areas identified by local people. Other departmental plans that have been developed to achieve this goal include:
Sport & Physical Activity Strategy 2007 – 2012
Financial Management Strategy
Recreation Best Value Review
Merseyside Plan for Sport
Chart 1.The Strategic Framework
Community Strategy A multi-agency partnership approach to promoting the economic, environmental and social well being of the area, which is currently being developed. This local strategy will be delivered through Local Strategic Partnerships and Neighbourhood Partnerships
The Council’s Vision, Values and Priorities
Government’s Cross-Cutting Agenda
The involvement and inclusion in cultural activities of those most likely to be excluded and disadvantaged
Supporting of all kinds of learning at any age
Improving social, economic and environmental wellbeing of an area
Managing services and facilities in an economical and environmentally sustainable way
Establishing UK-wide Information Communications Technology (ICT) by 2005
Programme to achieve continuous improvement of council services and ensure delivery in an efficient, effective and economic way
Departmental Performance Plan Sets
out how the Department will monitor the implementation of the action plan and key objectives by using a comprehensive Performance Management System
The Council’s Best Value Performance Plan
A statutory document published annually to tell local people what the Council is trying to achieve on their behalf and how it is meeting the demands of Best Value. It reviews the Council’s performance and suggested improvements
Local Cultural Strategy
An overarching strategy developed in partnership with the voluntary, private and public sectors to guide the development
of culture in the area
Physical Activity and Sport Strategy
2007 – 2012
Sportercise Business Plan
Chart 2. Links between Plans and Strategies
Local Cultural Strategy
Sport, Parks and Recreation Service Plan
Recreation Best Value Review
Departmental Performance Plan
National and Regional Strategies
Mayor’s Cultural Strategy
National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal
Regional Sports Plans
Sustainable Transport Strategy
Economic Development Strategy
National Framework for Sport
Merseyside plan for Sport
National Health Service
Frameworks for Coronary Disease and Older People
Council/ Cross-cutting Plans and Strategies
/ Best Value Performance Plan
Customer Focus Initiative
Unitary Development Plan
Local Agenda 21
Crime and Disorder Strategy
Community Safety Strategy
Youth Service Plan
Health Improvement Plan
Sport & Physical Activity Strategy
2.1 Links with other Plans and Strategies
The Sportercise Business Plan and associated Recreational Service documents do not exist in isolation, but links with other plans, strategies and initiatives both within the Council and externally with partner agencies. Linkages and working in partnership avoids duplication of resources and ensures that there is a joined up approach towards achieving related aims and objectives, examples of which can be seen in Chart 2.
Merseyside Plan for Sport
The Sportercise Business Plan is linked heavily to the Merseyside Plan for Sport, with Sportercise having the same ideas on sport, education and community progress. The Merseyside Plan for Sport was devised in accordance with the governments ‘game plan’ initiative, in order to raise participation rates in sport whilst also aiming to lower crime and improve community safety. The main targets of the Merseyside Plan for Sport are:
Increase participation rates in sport across Merseyside
Improve levels of sporting performance in young people
Widen access to participation in sport, allowing all people to have equal opportunities to participate
Improve the health and well being of people in Merseyside
Improve community safety by using sport as a way of reducing crime and anti social behaviour rates
Raise standards in education by working in partnerships with the local schools.
Using sport as a way of benefitting the economy
The Sportercise Business Plan links directly to the Merseyside sports plan, which has been devised in order to increase participation levels, generate a wider access to sport and active recreation and also bring together and align partners to meet existing targets within the 5 main areas of Merseyside.
Liverpool City Council’s Sports and Physical Activity Strategy 2007 – 2012
The Sports and Physical Activity Strategy 2007 – 2012 was developed in 2007. The strategy guides the development of sporting / physical activities and facilities in Liverpool and prioritises actions to achieve this. It also underpins bids to secure external funding, which will assist in developing and improving sports and physical activity provision within the area. It aims to develop opportunities for people to participate in sport through direct provision of quality services and in an enabling role with other agencies. Furthermore, it seeks to create equality of access to services through the location of facilities in local areas, considered programming of activities to encourage participation from groups previously excluded and that access issues for those with disabilities are considered for buildings.
Customer Focus Initiative (CFI)
The Council’s commitment to developing the Customer Focus Initiative (a private Finance Initiative) will facilitate the development of ICT systems to provide much needed customer data. It seeks to harness the latest technology to provide increased connectivity between the Council systems and a single point of contact for its customers. It will affect all parts of the Council’s service delivery and provide a more efficient and effective service to all Council customers. Through the CFI, many benefits of state of the art computer systems such as customer relationship management (CRM) will provide valuable data on customers, of the type the department needs to meet its strategic aims and improve its knowledge and exploitation of the customer base. By providing a corporate ICT infrastructure, systems will be rationalised, improving efficiency and simplifying service provision to customers. Through business transformation projects, identified as an area for improvement in the CFI Best Value Review, back and front office process will be linked and re-engineered to provide a more effective service to the public.
Working in Partnership
By adopting a partnership approach to service delivery, it is possible to ensure that the widest range of best quality services and opportunities are provided to the community. Sportercise will depend on a range of partners to develop and deliver its work such as:
Sub Regional Partnerships
Primary Care Trust
Liverpool County FA
Liverpool Council Social Services
Liverpool Council Education Services
Liverpool Council Youth Services
Liverpool Youth Offending Team
Private Sector Organisations
Local Housing Associations
The Fire Brigade
Customer involvement will continue as work proceeds on key issues and recommendations. There is a commitment to creating a dialogue with the people of Liverpool to assess how well they think the service is performing and establishing what else needs to be considered. A consultation Audit of the Company will be conducted and a Communications Plan produced to address these issues. The mechanism by which continual dialogue with the public will be achieved is shown in Diagram One.
This will be measured through annual satisfaction surveys and through mystery shopping exercises. Sportercise understands that consultation exercises are valuable in relation to gaining specific feedback on the services being provided. Through monitoring of targets, this will provide a measure of the success of increasing participation from people in the traditionally hard to reach groups.
Sportercise is proactive in setting up a system to establish dialogue with customers to share information, concerns over aspects of service delivery and feedback on progress of projects or developments that will inform the Sportercise service planning process. Examples that will be used are:
Sport & Physical Activity Forums
Local Neighbourhood partnership meetings (by ward)
Specialist focus groups to be set up for specific purposes
Mystery Shopper Exercises
Liverpool Schools Sports Partnership
School Sports Co – coordinator Steering Group
Diagram 1: The Consultation Process.
Review service improvement priorities
Implement service improvement
Measure/ Evaluate outcome of service improvement
2.4 Training & Development
Training and developing staff is an ongoing process within Sportercise. All training is documented and kept in the member of staff’s individual development and learning folder to comply with IIP and Quest accreditation. Other courses and training undertaken by staff include:
Health & Safety
Successful Staff Selection
Governing Body Awards
Sportercise will employ two full time development officers, who are responsible for co-ordinating, adminstration and linking with relevant agencies to develop and promote the company. They will also deliver a diverse high quality programme of sport and physical activities to local schools, youth and community groups. The role of coaches is to act as enablers/facilitators within a wide range of sporting activities and in turn to implement the sports, competitions and events on behalf of the Council.
In addition to the full time development officers Sportercise will employ sessional coaches as and when needed.
However Sportercise’s level of output is dependent on the human and financial resources available. The financial position is enhanced by the successful generation of funds and ‘in kind’ support from within the public, commercial, voluntary and charitable sector for specific initiatives.
Sportercise will adopt an outreach approach with no dedicated facilities of its own. The work undertaken by the Sportercise Team plays an important role in the sports development network of Liverpool and should be enhanced by the recently established links with relevant agencies, local and regional organisations, Sports England and sports Governing Bodies, Sportercise will continue to develop a wide range of area wide sporting/recreational and health related opportunities. The Team will work tirelessly to overcome the barriers that restrict participation in sport/recreation and health activities amongst young people, women, minority ethnic groups and people with disabilities, providing a mentoring service and also working to promote the awareness of gun and knife culture and other issues through the use of issue based workshops.
Participation in sport therefore encompasses many benefits. These include:
Enjoyment, fun, relaxation
Social benefits from participation in group activities
Increased confidence/self esteem
Improves all round educational performance
Development of leadership and teamwork skills
Reduction in crime through sport as a diversionary activity
Opportunity to acquire physical skills, and for those who have the potential, develop to top levels of performance
General feel-good factor at an individual level and pride in performances of being in a team
Health benefit – healthy lifestyles
Minimising the risk of anti-social behaviour
Develops self discipline and self respect
Fulfilment of individual potential up to and including top-level performance
The development of interests in related sports
Employment opportunities in sport and the leisure industry
Contributes to regeneration strategies
Kudos to the area in the form of regional, national and international honours
4.1 Curriculum Programme
The programmes that are to be offered by the Sportercise team are very extensive and aim to provide opportunities to both the able bodied and the disabled. Those people with disabilities are a key target group in terms of sports development. It is important to consider this group at both the strategic and planning levels of development. Sport, leisure and physical activity play an important part in the lives of people with disabilities through building their self esteem, encouraging interaction and offering the physical benefits of improving mobility and general health.
The Disability Officer continues to extend Sportercise’s work with this target group. The aim is that all people with disabilities should be able to participate in sport, recreation, leisure and health related activities in an environment that they choose, whether this is integrated or disability specific.
In June 1998, the Health Education Authority reported on disability and sport. They commented that people with disabilities.
Represent a significant and important proportion of the population
Are often less active and have lower than average fitness levels
Are at risk of developing health problems as a result of inactivity
Face social and environment barriers to participation
A survey undertaken by Health and Fentem in 1997 and the Governments White Paper on Health (November 2004) showed that levels of physical activity are lower for people with disabilities and confirmed the need to address the issue of under representation amongst this target group.
Sportercise will tackle these issues in partnership with many organisations who work with the disabled and also through an effective relationship with Liverpool City Council who assist the development of sport for people with disabilities across Merseyside. Sportercise aims to include the following disability programme:
Curriculum programmes in Special Schools
After school clubs
Coach Education / training
Competitions and events
The planned curriculum programme to be offered will initially begin within the Liverpool area where there are 123 primary, 31 secondary schools, 2 Pupil Referral Units and 11 special schools. All these schools will be offered the opportunity to participate in the curriculum programme that provides specialist advice/support of the National Curriculum. The initiative incorporates six one-hour sessions in hockey, netball, basketball, athletics, Gymnastics, dance, swimming, rugby, cricket, tennis. These are delivered over a half term period by a qualified Governing Body coach. This programme will be developed in partnership with the Partnership Development Managers to ensure it details the work of the School Sports Coordinator initiative. When working with the disabled community we aim to provide a basic introduction to sport and health related activity which otherwise would not be available due to the limited expertise that exists particularly in primary school education. The programme includes all Special Schools who all receive six one-hour sessions over a half term period. Working with the School Sports Coordinators will provide support to PE Coordinators in the delivery of Physical Education.
Along with the sporting activities offered by Sportercise, we also offer a curriculum programme to schools based around developing well rounded young people in Liverpool. This alternative programme offers mentoring sessions with young people, aiming to work on issues such as self esteem, behaviour, anger management and anti bullying. All of these sessions will help the young people of Liverpool develop personally and socially, thereby contributing to making Liverpool a safer area to live in, whilst also reducing the rates of crime and anti social behaviour.
4.2 After School and Weekend Programmes
Sportercise will liaise with local agencies to ensure a co-ordinated approach is adopted. This is vital to ensure maximum use of resources. The after school and weekend programme provides participants with further opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of sport. The programme employs the expertise of local qualified sports coaching from clubs who act as ambassadors for their particular club. These clubs then offer the performance element within the sports development continuum for young people to continue their development. The young people will be encouraged to join sports clubs.
Where clubs are unable to offer the young people the chance for continued participation, Sportercise will link with relevant governing bodies and individuals in the community to address this issue and hopefully resolve it by creating a community team.
A priority of the programme is to attract non-participants to participate in sport outside of curriculum time and to experience the advantages and benefits of taking part in sport and physical activity. These initiatives provide positive experiences, reduce the possibility of young people becoming involved in criminal activities, address issues of social inclusion, life long learning and encourages the adoption of leading healthy and active lifestyles. The involvement of local sports clubs and the development of specific sports steering groups are an important ingredient for the long-term success of after school provision in Liverpool.
Along with the sporting activities offered by Sportercise, we also offer a curriculum programme to youth clubs and community groups based around developing well rounded young people in Liverpool. This alternative programme offers mentoring sessions with young people, which aim to work on issues such as anger management and anti bullying. All of these sessions will help the you