Dr Zoe supports young people in Birmingham to reap the benefits of sport
Posted: Fri, 14 Feb 2020 17:33
Dr Zoe Williams, co-founder of Fit4Life hosted an event of the Active Link pilot project - bringing together key stakeholders to see the difference the project is making to the lives of young people in Birmingham.
Active Link uses sport and positive role models to promote good mental health, life aspirations and positive lifestyle choices among young people attending the City of Birmingham Schools. Fit4Life works with young people to design and develop their projects - giving young people ownership is shown to have positive benefits, including greater involvement.
From the evidence Fit4Life presented at the event, this is certainly proving to be true. The young people are choosing to come along to Active Link sessions, and stay involved. This has meant that attendance at the school on a Tuesday has improved, and the students have increased the amount of sport they now participate in - both in school and in the community.
72% of the students involved in Active Link are from low income families, and have limited opportunities to get involved in expensive clubs and sports outside of school. However, Active Link has helped students find free activities and clubs in sports they really enjoy. Two students have gone on to volunteer in local sport clubs, paying forward the opportunity they've been given.
Judith Traill, Head of School for the LInk Centre, said, "I know our whole staff team appreciates the opportunities Fit4Life has given the students, in terms of their personal, physical and emotional development. It was a real pleasure to see the young people enjoy the Active Link session, working so well together and with the adults involved."
Dr Zoe, a GP, TV personality and NHS England Physical Activity Clinical Champion, and cofounder Dawn Warner developed Fit4Life in 2017 to positively change the lives of young people who are not in mainstream education and lack opportunities where they live. Dr Zoe said, "It was a very proud moment to show our funders and local stakeholders just how far the Active Link project has come. It was evident yesterday that our approach to co-creating projects with young people has enabled the students to gain trust in their mentors from Sport Birmingham: they feel listened to, empowered, and proud of themselves for what they have created in this project. We are starting to see measurable outcomes from Active Link, which is incredibly encouraging."
The Active Link Pilot Project is funded by Sport England with National Lottery funding. Jayne Molyneux, Director - Children and Young People, at Sport England said: "This event gave fantastic insight into the work Fit4Life and their partners are delivering. Our insight tells us just under half of all children are meeting the Chief Medical Officer's guidelines of 60 minutes of physical activity per day. But we also know that active children are happier and more resilient. So it's great to see projects like Active Link helping to get more young people active."
For more information about FIt4Life and the Active Link project, please go to fit4lifecic.org.uk
Notes to Editors:
Sport England funds Fit4Life to deliver the Active Link Pilot Project with partners City of Birmingham Schools and Sport Birmingham. The Pilot is evaluated by the National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine, at the University of Loughborough.
For more information about the project, or the work of Fit4Life, please contact:
Dawn Warner,Director, Fit4Life