Posted by The SCL Education Group on 11.01.16
ukactive welcomes the UK’s leading provider of education through sport : SCL Education Group (SCL) to the Strategic Partner Group. Through their innovative sports academy partnerships with over 50 professional and grass roots sports clubs and organisations, SCL educates 2,000 16-18 year olds each academic year. SCL also provides children’s activities and school sport services to hundreds of thousands of primary school children each year. ukactive discusses with CEO, and co-founder, Lewis Field the importance of getting young people active and how SCL engages hard-to reach young adults.
With almost three quarters of a million young people classed as ‘Not in Education Employment or Training’ (NEET), what can be done to engage this group?
“There are a few key factors that we find lead to young people going on to become NEET - such as incorrect educational offering or decisions at critical times in their secondary school education which, over a period of time, leads to disengagement and lack of motivation. Alongside, inadequate or incorrect careers advice which does not meet the need of the young person’s career aspirations. We need to harness the young people’s passion in the right ways and thus engaging them in an environment that is suitable to their needs is crucial for their learning and progression. At SCL we find that combing education with sport and delivering programmes from inspiring sports facilities has a real power for engaging young people. We have many remarkable young people’s success stories and excellent progression rates onto Traineeships, Apprenticeships or even progressing onto higher education.
I’d say the work related activities centred on the young people teaching and coaching sport to school children gives a real sense of responsibility that helps them to develop skills in organisation, leadership and teamwork- all of which are necessary for any job.
The particular benefits of sports coaching for personal development are the respect, bond and admiration they gain from the primary school kids they coach – which is a real confidence boost for those on our education and training programmes. They become role models which build confidence and self-esteem, plus as we tell them…….if you can teach or coach a class of five year-olds you can pretty much accomplish anything!”
With many young children getting far too much screen time and too little activity especially in the school holidays, how can we get more children, more active in these breaks?
“I think there needs to be two focuses here- one is on the children’s providers and the other one on parents. Children’s providers need to take accountability for delivering active childcare and, collectively, we need to ensure that all children relate enjoyment to being active. There are a lot of providers doing a fantastic job of capturing young people’s imaginations with fun ways to get children active. We should harness this, and all the expertise, to create a best practise guide, or codes of conduct, for all providers so high standards are in place everywhere. Parents also need support with community hubs where they can go to seek advice on getting their children active and find out the different options there are locally for their children to lead active and healthy lifestyles.
At SCL we are keen to keep developing as an organisation, collaborating with others in the sector to develop our offerings for young people, be it through our training programmes or, through the provision of activities for children to help them lead healthy lives.”