Sports & Life Skills is a local group funded thanks to the generous donations of Islington’s residents to the Crisis Fund. After the easing of restrictions, the organisation has been running up to 10 free-to-attend sessions per week for young people in the borough.
Sports & Life Skills was set up in August 2016 with funding first provided through Islington Council’s Community Chest with the aim of teaching young people life skills using sports activities. Qualified coaches help instil values such as respect, honesty and trust through team sports, demonstrating how these can be applied more widely in everyday life.
During lockdown, they delivered a wide range of physical activities, to help encourage local families in the community stay active and support mental wellbeing. After the restrictions started to ease , they have gone back to organising outdoor activities for children and young people in Islington.
We asked the parents if they wanted us to deliver a multi sports programme due to the Covid-19 situation and they said yes. We didn’t focus on life skills for the first 2 weeks as we wanted the kids to come out and have fun after 4 months of lockdown, explains Stephen Marshall, Founder of Sports and Life Skills
They have been running sessions on the Mayville Estate covering a range of age groups from 4 up to 19 years old, as well as a female only session and a homework session delivered by qualified teachers at Mildmay Community Centre that wraps around the sports sessions.
Most of the sports sessions centre on football but they have also offered other sports, including archery and dodge ball; sometimes even open up activities for parents to join in.
Approximately 200 young people from Islington benefit from activities organised by Sports & Life Skills across the year, and they have excellent links within the local community, developing long term relationships with children and their parents.