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 has made existing inequalities far worse.

Sport has the power to change lives, and as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis 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 has been working in Oxford city since 2014, helping to increase inclusive sport for children and young people most in need. We are delighted to announce that in response to fast-growing need, we are expanding Access Sport's provision across the whole county, benefiting many more children and young people facing disadvantage.

Access Sport Oxfordshire is a new collaboration between Active Oxfordshire and Access Sport, with generous support from Mark Beard, High Sheriff in nomination for 2022-23.

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".

Natalie

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.

Here's some examples of what's coming up for 2022:

Get Involved

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 Hayley Sanders, Access Sport Oxfordshire Manager who would be delighted to start a conversation.

You can reach Hayley on: hayleysanders@activeoxfordshire.org or 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

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