Sport in the Park
First established in 2000 Battersea Summer Scheme’s Sport in the Park started as a ‘family day’ and has now become our flag ship event. For four days at the beginning of the summer holidays we hire an area of Battersea Park and organise a variety of sports run by professional sports coaches. There are also more daring activities such as high ropes and a climbing wall as well as arts and crafts and music. Various agencies attend giving advice and information in a fun and entertaining way which includes school nurses, police, fire brigade and Network Rail.
We target the unprivileged young in the borough aged between 8 and 16 although the event is open to all. Some 2,000 young people attend with either their families or youth groups. We advertise in the local schools, youth groups, the local estates, council facilities and libraries as well as in other forms of social media. The young people pay £1.00 per day which lets them try everything. The event itself also creates a wonderful family atmosphere and many groups arrive and create a ‘base’ and bring picnics for the day.
The Key Obectives
To encourage young people to try a varied range of sports and challenges and then join a relevant local club to carry it on. To give pertinent information to the young in relation to cyber, drugs and safety issues. To integrate with the local police and others in authority in an informal and friendly environment. To break down barriers, real or imagined, within the community helping to create community cohesion. To give the young and their families fun and active days out. To employ student sports coaches from local colleges and clubs where possible to help them gain their work experience hours by helping us. To utilise accompanied young offenders to help with tasks such as face painting as part of their community hours. Over and above anything else these are activities to keep the young occupied and off the streets and away from the risks thereof. The various organisations have reported back to us that having attended our event they have seen an increase in uptake of their activity.
We tailor the event to the finances made available to us each year. In 2012 it cost just over £40,000 whilst in 2013 we only had £25,000 to spend. We are very fortunate that the arts and crafts and face painting are run by volunteers. The Police Cadets attend and are invaluable helping set up and dismantle each day and generally assisting at the event. Other information and entertainment from public sector bodies are not charged for.
Five a Side Football
We have also in the past, organised a Five a Side Football Tournament in the spring on the Astroturf in Battersea Park which is open to both boys and girls in the Borough. We have approximately 26 teams competing against each other in various age groups. Medals are awarded to all who attend and trophies to the winners. The cost of this exciting and fun day is £3,000