Sport Bay of Plenty

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Unmotivated youth find motivation in sport

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Sport Bay of Plenty Youth Engagement Programme was established in 2012 and has evolved over the years into the programme that it is today. With more youth developing mental health conditions and becoming unmotivated to go to work, socialise, or interact with family members there needed to be action.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) had high numbers of youth in their system on the health or job seekers benefit, and was calling for a youth targeted programme that worked on mental health and helped young people become work ready.
At the end of 2016 Sport Bay of Plenty were approached by MSD to come up with a six week pilot programme for 12 young people. Sport, fitness and outdoor education were seen as great activities to help young people build confidence and help them become ‘work ready’.

Youth Engagament Programme_web

The pilot programme was a success, and 80 per cent of the young participants were placed into employment. A further 20 per cent either went on to tertiary study or remained with our pre-existing Youth Engagement Programme to give them the best opportunity to build more skills.

Two years on and the programme continues. We have a good working relationship with MSD, and we now have a full time staff member who is doing a tremendous job getting youth into employment or some sort of tertiary education.

One of the biggest positives of the programme is helping young people become active members of the community. We support this outcome by offering one-on-one mentoring and career building: We find out what participants like to do and whether or not they are passionate about anything specific. We then take them through interview skills and resilience training to ensure they are fully equipped for employment. We are able to transport them to interviews and help them meeting employers if necessary. Once they are in employment we continue supporting them through further mentoring.

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must but take the step.”

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