School Sports Partnership
Youth Board and Youth Voice
The SSP team identified a need to focus on youth voice and co-creation, following the announcement of additional funding through the School Games. The project was designed to improve consultation with young people across the SSP to inform the offer to schools as well as engaging with young people who are inactive.
The aim was to create a group of young people who would be acting as ambassadors for Physical Education, school sport and physical activity across the SSP area, in an attempt to influence other young people to prioritise physical activity. As the Commonwealth Games took place in Birmingham in 2022, this provided a unique opportunity for this board to design and organise various events, festivals and resources to ensure pupils across the county could take part in different activities.
The SSP designed an application process whereby primary school students could apply for a place on the SSP Youth Board. 22 applications were submitted and all were accepted, which then formed the first SSP Youth Board.
With funding from the Commonwealth Games budget, collaborative working among partners and young people took place to create an atmosphere of belonging for all members and partners, with a resource kit to ensure everyone felt a part of something. SSP schools, staff, parents, young people and local community club contacts such as Thundersley Cricket Club made up the board.
The project was a success because the young people felt valued as they were heavily involved in important decisions and discussions, which they would not have previously been invited to.
The consultation with the members and the insights they collected were invaluable because it meant lessons could be learnt in what motivates young people to be active and what barriers exist, and the board identified what schools needed to do to improve their activity levels. Working towards an end product, was important as this helped ensure commitment and motivation among the young board members.
The next steps for the Youth Board are to continue the focus on consultation and also give members their own ‘missions’ to complete in their schools, influencing others. The boards focus in 2023 will be to recruit more young people from different schools, to give them the opportunity to apply to become a Youth Board Member in September.