Friday, 11 May 2012

YOUNGSTERS are being encouraged to get out and about this summer

YOUNGSTERS are being encouraged to get out and about this summer with grants worth more than £35,000 earmarked for Olympic-inspired projects.

Dorset County Council is accepting bids from schools, colleges, youth groups and sports coaches who are running summer programmes for young people to encourage active lifestyles.

One such project is Weymouth College’s holiday scheme for youngsters aged between six and 12. Super Saver Wednesday puts on subsidised sports activities from Frisbee to football in the school holidays.

Sports development officer Ben Heath said: “The idea is to encourage them to get involved and try out something they may not have had the chance to try before.

“Through this funding from the Dorset Youth Challenge programme, we’re hoping to inspire kids to keep up their healthy, active lifestyle in the long term, which is what the Olympic legacy is all about.”

He added: “We had up to 40 kids a day in the Easter holidays, and will be running the project, which includes a whole day of activities, at half-term and in the summer, when we’re expecting to be a lot busier.”

The cash is sourced from various schemes, including children’s services and Active Dorset, and channelled through two programmes – the Dorset 2012 Youth Challenge and Sportivate.

The Youth Challenge forms a part of Team Dorset Challenge, which aims to create a legacy of healthy lifestyles from the 2012 Games.

Vikki Harman, Team Dorset Challenge co-ordinator, said: “It’s great to see so many children and young people already engaging in challenges. The programme at Weymouth College over the Easter break was successful and very popular with the young people who attended.”

Sportivate, the second funding programme, aims to provide weekly subsidised sports coaching sessions over a period of six to eight weeks for youngsters aged between 14 and 25.