FOOTBALL TACKLES YOUTH OFFENDING

1 Jun 2005

Monmouthshire’s Youth Offending Team is taking a new tack in its efforts to integrate disaffected and crime vulnerable young people. The team is hoping to lure a group of 10-18 year-olds away from ‘hanging around on the streets’ by engaging them in sport and fitness.Lottery

Cwmbran Stadium will play host to a weekly two hour sessions, which will include work in the gym and training on the astro turf. Aside from improving fitness and football skills, it is also hoped that the sessions will build confidence and self esteem and even reduce crime.

Community Chest funding from the Sports Council for Wales to the tune of £750 has allowed the team to call on the services of support workers who will be trained up as coaches after securing their first aid qualifications.

As well as putting the support workers through their coaching awards, the project will be encouraging some of the young players to follow suit and earn their coaching stripes so that they can take a the lead in future sessions. And by handing over responsibility for the sessions to the players the team hope players will gain a sense of self worth that extends beyond the pitch.

The outcomes of the project are set to be measured by the Youth Offending Team as part of an ongoing review of young people’s statutory court order and the service they receive.

Chair of the Sports Council for Wales Philip Carling said:

"By offering better alternatives and showing that there are productive and enjoyable ways of passing the time, young people can better resist pressures to take part in crime and anti-social behaviour. Their aspirations and life chances are raised, which benefits both the individual and the community within which they live.

"This project will engage with ‘out of reach’ groups in the area, which will not only tackle social exclusion and support community regeneration, but help achieve the vision of a fitter, healthier, more successful Wales."

The Sports Council is urging more projects in Torfaen to come forward to apply for the £81,809 Community Chest funding available to the area. For more information and to find out whether your project is eligible for a grant worth up to £750, please contact your local authority sports development team.

For more information on the project please contact Andrea Williams, Youth Worker, on or