A Sportivate programme for young mums living in a temporary residential unit has taken gold at this year’s Sportivate Awards held in London. The eight week programme, run by Stafford Borough Council Health & Well Being Team at Quantico Court, helped young women who had recently, or were due to, give birth, and whose weight gain has impacted on their self-esteem. The award was presented in London this week by Minister for Sport and Tourism, Tracey Crouch MP and England Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi MBE.
The project offered a range of classes like Pilates and yoga specifically designed to provide emotional support for new mums living in Quantico Court and who don’t normally exercise, and help them to break down the fear factor of getting active. ‘Aqua Tot’ swimming sessions were also offered, helping mums exercise with their babies in the Stafford Leisure Centre. Upon completion of the Sportivate project, all participants were offered vouchers for a full course in Aqua Tot, so they could continue with their fitness.
Sport England is committed to getting more young people playing sport regularly and the Sportivate programme aims to give young people aged 11-25-year-olds who weren’t active previously, the opportunity to discover a new sport or activity of their choice by giving them between six to eight weeks of coaching. Once the coaching sessions have been completed, the young people are then helped to find a club or venue where they can continue to be active.
Minister for Sport and Tourism, Tracey Crouch MP, who presented the award with England Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi MBE, said: “Quantico Court and Stafford Borough Council have shown incredible commitment to sport. I am thrilled that this community organisation has been recognised for its brilliant achievements.”
Stafford Borough Council, Health Support Officer, Samantha Logan said, “It was wonderful to work with the young families in developing their knowledge and understanding of being physically active, and especially seeing their confidence grow week by week. At the start, they were all quite quiet, even with each other. After a few sessions, the relationships started to develop, and their enthusiasm increased as they developed better exercise technique and understanding of the benefits. I’m so pleased that the groups have felt the benefit from the sessions and continue on with these positive changes.”
Director of Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, Mark Thornewill, said: “The Sportivate programme has allowed us to engage with people that would not normally be involved in sport. The great thing about this project is that many of the young women and their children have continued to be involved and use the leisure centre regularly, something they thought they would never do. The national recognition today is the icing on the cake for Quantico Court and the Stafford Borough Council Health and Well-being team.”
Sport England’s Director for Community Sport, Mike Diaper, said: “Quantico Court’s record of engaging with new mums make them worthy winners of this award. Many of the women attending this Sportivate course live challenging lives, thanks to Quantico and the Borough Council, they can now see being active as something that is not only achievable but also as a fun thing they can do on their own or with their families.”