A youth sports engagement programme which looks to engage with 50,000 local young people over the next three years needs your vote after reaching the semi-finals of a top award which recognises the achievements of young people.
Launched earlier this year, Y Sports is delivered by YMCA St Helens in partnership with St Helens Sports Development and is a free and accessible project which uses sport and fun activities to reach young people of all abilities across St Helens.
In just six months, free weekly sports and physical activity sessions have resulted in 18,364 attendances from over 2,500 individual young people across 1098 sessions which has led to a Health and Wellbeing Project of the Year nomination at the YMCA Youth Matters Awards in November.
Funded by the Big Lottery and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Y Sports offers a minimum of 20 free weekly sports and physical activity sessions – as well as holiday programmes and sessions for young people with additional needs – to local children and young people aged 10-18 years of age.
There will also be an opportunity for participants to access projects organised by the Saints Community Foundation – and as the programme develops, there will be six apprenticeship opportunities in years two and three.
Hailing the impact of the project so far, Dr Justin Hill – Chief Executive of YMCA St Helens – said: “We are delighted to be nominated for such a significant award and to reach this stage of the process. We hope everyone in the local community will vote for us as making it through to the final judging panel would be brilliant. Our team have worked incredibly hard to provide such a fantastic range of opportunities for young people in St Helens.”
Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Council’s portfolio holder for leisure services, added:
“To be in with the chance of winning an award just six months in speaks volumes of the impact this programme has had in our communities.
“Sport has a great reputation of bringing people from all types of backgrounds together which Y Sports is all about, and the reaction so far has been nothing short of outstanding.”
To vote for Y Sports, visit: https://surveys.ymca.org.uk/s/