The free “turn up and play” 5ives football session taking place in Kendray has had over 900 visits over the year, with 170 individual participants enjoying a kick about with their mates, courtesy of Game On England.
It is also been shown by Sport England that more affluent parts of our society are nearly twice as likely to be active than those from more disadvantaged communities. This is no different in Kendray, Barnsley, which is in the top 10% of most deprived communities in the country.
Having this many participants regularly active has had its benefits, and not just for our participants skills. It has been well publicised the benefits of being physically active, with Sport England claiming that it can improve mood, decrease the chance of depression and anxiety and lead to a better and more balanced lifestyle. All key reasons why the Kendray session is having such an impact in the local community.
It’s not just the participants that are reaping the rewards of the 5ives session taking place though. In its infancy, the Kendray 5ives session was established when the local Police force began to identify low level disturbances between young people and the 5ives community sports centre, and wanted to find a way to relieve the tension.
Fast forward two years and the session is thriving and relationships between the local community and the Community Sports Centre are better than ever.
Ross, a representative of the 5ives Community Sports Centre, said: “Anti-social behaviour has decreased significantly, and we all believe that your sessions have been an integral part of that.”
Additionally, police now report that the number of incidents in the area relating to young people has reduced. A key task identified was reducing the barriers to building relationships between young people, the police and staff members, and this has been achieved to great effect through the session.
Barnsley West NHP police officers even drop into sessions to take part, and build valuable relationships with young people in the community, something that our participants really look forward to.
Game On England, through the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, remain committed to the Kendray session. Due to good relationships with Greggs Foundation, as well as the local police force, the 5ives session remains a place where young people from the local community can engage in positive activities, be fed courtesy of Greggs’ unsold food donations and build relationships with local police officers.