ActiveVoice: Community Focus Key to Re-engagement
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Written by Paul Pou, Youth Team Leader, Sport Bay of Plenty
Participants on Sport Bay of Plenty’s Youth Engagement programme have been involved in coaching modules recently.
In conjunction with BayTrust CoachForce, the participants have been using the tool for re-engagement, confidence and acquisition of applicable life skills.
Research shows that sport can act as a powerful vehicle for personal change and through their voluntary coaching work with Greenpark Primary School over the past four years our youth aged between 16-24 have developed skills that are transferable into both employment and home/social life.
These skills include session planning and identifying which resources are required, how to communicate with teachers, students and other youth, working as a team, increased leadership and responsibility and taking pride and in seeing an activity through from start to finish.
This is all part of the engagement process, learning, reviewing and repeating. Without the ability to open the youths’ eyes to these new experiences, we find that the youth would not otherwise engage.
We have many young people from varying backgrounds that are involved in the programme. Some have suffered from depression, anxiety and many other forms of dysfunctionality including substance abuse whereas some are simply just looking for something to do until they find suitable employment or educational opportunities.
Their behaviours can often be a barrier to engagement and we have seen this over years of delivery. Ironically social disengagement often begins as a result of trying to fit in and adhere to the various cultures, trends or groups they associate themselves with.
Through our programme we offer a sense of belonging, a sense of pride in the uniforms provided, a sense of community and a safe non-judgemental environment in which to spend time. This alone helps to begin the process of engagement.
We are inspired by those youth brave enough to face their challenges and willing to embrace the support and warmth we provide. It is you that we get out of bed early for, it is you that makes us love our work and it is you that can make the world a better place.
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