Access Sport Oxfordshire
Helping Oxfordshire's children and young people in greatest need to thrive through the power of sport
In Oxfordshire, 1 in 2 children are not getting enough activity to protect their health and well-being, 1 in 5 children are experiencing significant mental health difficulties and only 35% of disabled children feel confident taking part in sport. We know that COVID-19, followed by the cost of living crisis has made existing inequalities far worse.
Sport has the power to change lives. It's never been more important to help Oxfordshire's youngest generations to access sports and protect their health, well-being and life chances.
About Access Sport Oxfordshire
Access Sport Oxfordshire is an inclusive sports programme for children and young people in the county. We are proud to work together with Access Sport to break down barriers for young people and make sure that they can enjoy the benefits of trying new sports and living an active life. Since launching Access Sport Oxfordshire in 2022, we have worked with partners to deliver hundreds of sports sessions, provided an extensive training programme to sports clubs and community organisations, enabled young people to become sports leaders and helped Oxfordshire clubs to become more inclusive through training and equipment.
We are extremely grateful to the many donors and supporters who give so generously to our inclusive sports programme for young people. Particular thanks go to Mark Beard, Richard Venables, Radley College, Oxford Property Festival, Nationwide, Gladstone Software and Sanghera Foundation for making this vital work possible, and to Access Sport for their ongoing partnership and support.
Access Sport Oxfordshire: our impact
Changing lives: Natalie's story
Natalie was a young carer to her mother but when she was just 17 Natalie's home life became too challenging, so the decision was made for her to move out of her family home. Natalie was referred by a key worker at her school to join a youth dance project run by Body Politic, who have been supported by Access Sport to run regular street dance sessions and provide training and work experience opportunities.
The weekly street dance sessions combined physical activity, social interaction, creativity and emotional expression, all key factors of overall health and well being.
Natalie began a role as a paid Dance Assistant, helping to lead warm ups and support dancers in the younger age groups. She gradually gained confidence in herself and began to think about a future. With support from Body Politic, Natalie honed her skills and graduated from the University of East London in 2020. She has since returned to Body Politic as a staff member to teach Dance Leadership courses to young people and inspire the next generation of street dancers.
"Dance has impacted my life drastically… It's helped me express everything good and bad in my life.
I never thought I was good enough. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Body Politic. It has created so many life changing experiences and opportunities for me".
Access Sport Oxfordshire: key priorities
We will support clubs and community organisations to help them become more inclusive and open their doors to everyone, no matter their ability or background, as well as establishing new inclusive sports programmes across the county.
Our key priorities will be:
- Sporting opportunities for children and young people with a disability.
- Sports initiatives in the most disadvantaged areas of our County
- Training and development of coaches and leaders from our target audiences and communities.
As always, we will be working with a wide range of partners, sports clubs and community organisations to increase inclusive sporting opportunities for children and young people and create lasting change. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch with Jess Harrison, Access Sport Oxfordshire Manager who would be delighted to start a conversation.
You can reach Jess on: JessicaHarrison@activeoxfordshire.org or call 07901 365 429
If you would like to support Access Sport Oxfordshire with a donation, helping us to reach more young people like Natalie, this would be very gratefully received. You can donate via the link below:
Cover image: The Plastic Goldfish Company