Thanks to a special Commonwealth Games Fund, more than 24 local not-for-profit voluntary community organisations have benefited from a financial boost.
The fund, which was worth £10,000, was to be used for delivering activities around Commonwealth sports – with the aim of increasing participation across all age groups and working in partnership with the local community.
24 organisations used the money for new initiatives to engage with people of all ages, encouraging them to take up a new activity. Each organisation liaised with an average of 80 participants.
Some success stories include:
Liverpool Water Polo club bid for the opportunity to target 11 – 18 year olds who may have dropped out of swimming clubs and lessons. The plan was to host fun festivals as a club to recruit new members, as well as provide opportunities for newly recruited volunteers. The target was to engage with those not doing the recommended 150 minutes per week activity, living in 7 wards surrounding Liverpool Aquatics Centre.
In order to kick start this activity the club required improved equipment and sought funding to contribute towards water polo caps, water polo balls and flyers. As well as this, to sustain participation, there was a request for 50% funding towards Level 1 Coaching courses with the other 50% being funded by the club.
Following receipt of the Commonwealth Small Grant Fund, the club purchased the new water polo balls and caps and 2 coaches have enrolled on the next Level 1 water polo course in Manchester in December, as well promoting the session at the mini-polo! Festivals hosted by Liverpool City Council.
Liverpool Water Polo have new players on their register from all 7 targeted Liverpool areas and the three named community organisations on the application form. They are in the process of collecting the data to determine which named schools are represented, as there was a specific target on secondary schools education.
As quantitative outputs, directly related to the grant, a total of 12 coaches were engaged, 4 school pupils and 2 team managers, however, due to the qualifications being completed, this will be an ongoing piece of work, with the established links in the local areas, organisations and schools feeding into an established club structure.
The new Physical Activity and Sport Development team will be supporting the club in order to grow and continue to provide this level of activity in the area.
Liverpool Carers Centre is one of the services provided by Local Solutions. The role of the carers centre is to improve the quality of life for carers in Liverpool by delivering support services to meet their needs.
They already have a range of activities on offer for carers including Yoga, Zumba and Tai-Chi.
As an organisation the bid made to Commonwealth Games Small Grants Fund was to host a watersports day, to engage carers of all ages and abilities. This was achieved by working in partnership with other organisations involved with young carers.
The Carers Centre were able to engage 35 carers in total; their age and gender varied from an 80 year old female who has significant health conditions herself to a male participant age 40. Evaluation forms were completed which asked “What benefits, if any, do you hope to achieve from attending the session. The answers slightly varied but the theme was around interaction with other people and trying an activity which would be fun and interactive.
All the carers enjoyed the sessions and a large proportion said that they would like to attend the water sports centre again and would also like to bring their family along. The oldest female participant born in 1937 said she had enjoyed herself so much, she said that she was delighted about how well maintained the Liverpool Docks where, she was shocked to see fish and Jellyfish while leisurely sailing on the water.
Liverpool Carers Centre identified the biggest success of the project being simply introducing people to an activity they would never normally participate in, the water front has changed so much over the past decade and to be able to experience sailing through it is a wonderful way to experience the views of the docks and also participate in a sport they would never normally have the opportunity to do living in a city.
The new Physical Activity and Sport Development team will be continuing their links with the Liverpool Carers Centre in order to support their sustained involvement in activities such as those delivered through the Commonwealth Games Small Grants.
Councillor Tim Moore, Mayoral Lead for Organised Sport, said: “Whilst we are of course disappointed to have missed out on the games itself – the success of this initiative shows that just by bidding we have given a real boost to sport at the grassroots.
“I’m delighted to see so many individuals and organisations getting involved and we will continue to work with local clubs to make sure that the momentum from the bid continues to support local activity in the city.”