Find out how this local programme is getting young people involved in sport
13 May 2021
Check out the case study about a Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa initiative that is engaging with youth primarily in Taita and Naenae in Lower Hutt.
What is Journeys
Fraser Park Sportsville’s Journeys programme (delivered in collaboration the Wellington Boys and Girls Institute [BGI] and Hutt City Council) is a daily offsite opportunity for tamariki and rangatahi to that focuses on building relationships through sport.
The purpose of the programme is to act as a 'shop-window' for participants to local sports clubs; offering young people the opportunity to browse, test, and try out different sports and activities. It is co-designed with sport offerings being led by BGI and supported by clubs as part of the Fraser Park Sportsville community. The programme is delivered by an energetic group of young adults who possess youth work skills and understand the contexts of rangatahi who have been traditionally excluded from sport.
The programme was designed with the understanding that the local community responds positively to sport offerings. Through Journeys a new pitstop on the sporting pathway is being created, one that enables local young people to develop their confidence and competence before committing to formal participation. The long-term goal is to encouraging tamariki and rangatahi to be active for life.
Programme delivery began in March and to date 17 sessions have been delivered at Ricoh Sports Centre. The programme has 70 students registered from seven schools for Term 2, with the majority of participants being in years 7-10.
How was the programme set up and designed
The programme has been created in partnership with Fraser Park Sportsville, BGI and the Hutt City Council that began in January 2021. Following this, the collaborative group began reaching out to local schools and kura, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response reinforcing the need for this programme and emphasising their keenness to support.
It was important for these conversations with schools to be framed with a strengths-based lens - something positive that was identified to be of benefit to that student - communicating Journeys as a leadership opportunity for the students.
Some schools used deans, councillors and their pastoral system to identify participants for the programme and others invited deliverers of the programme to present at assemblies. There was a strong focus on identifying students that were not actively engaged in physical activity, or who might respond strongly to the Journeys project.
The Fraser Park Sportsville founding member clubs and community deliverers were engaged to deliver the physical element of the program. Five out of six clubs expressed initial interest in the programme, and the Sportsville staff also connected with five additional community deliverers, all of whom are now engaged in the project.
The development of the programme has also been further supported by Nuku Ora, with Tim Mannix, Nuku Ora’s Community Development Advisor for Coaching, leading a session around quality delivery. This session enabled deliverers of the programme to unpack what quality, participant-centred delivery is.
The key messages reinforced were:
- the need to be adaptable and flexible
- that participants will vary in age, skill, motivation, engagement, confidence
- the importance of delivering games-based sessions focussed on fun
It has been important for the success of the programme that everyone involved, from schools, delivers, and administrators understand the kaupapa of the programme and the wants and needs of the participants involved.
How is the programme delivered
Each Journeys session is 1 hour long and follows a similar format:
- Always begin with kai and a check-in or team-building exercise.
- This is followed by 40-45 minutes of physical activity, held either outside or in the activity space indoors.
- The last 15 minutes is used to wrap up the day before participants make their way home.
To help remove barriers to participation, the programme offers transport support to all participants, with at two out of seven participating schools requiring this. Due to the centralised location of the venue in the community, the majority of participants are able to make their own way to the centre, either via bus, foot or caregiver transport. As the programme has progressed, connections at schools have also been made and students are beginning to carpool.
The BGI team who are responsible for leading the delivery of the programme, established a group kawa with the participants from the outset – this set of expectations has proven useful in setting the scene and ensuring a safe and positive participation environment for everyone. The BGI team debrief every session and ensure they have conversations with the deliverers to reflect on how their delivery could be improved.
What impact is the programme having
284 youth participated in the programme in Term 1 with an even split of males and females attending. Meaningful relationships have been established and it is already apparent that the participants respect and value their part in the programme.
Examples of the success of the programme to date include participants often asking “when Journeys is on again”, and a Taita College student who was initially hesitant to attend because they didn’t know anybody noted after attending a session that “I’m going to keep coming now ‘cause I feel comfortable with the group”.
Additionally, the benefits of the programme have transferred over into the school space:
“The two girls that attend on Monday are having a great time. They are very shy and I feel that this has been a great start so far to build their confidence. They come and find me or talk to me in the corridors as before they would quietly walk past” - Teacher, Naenae College.
The programme has also been beneficial to the deliverers of the project, with one of the BGI leaders mentioning that being part of the Journeys environment has helped to grow her own confidence and come out of her shell.
The delivery group are confident that Journeys is having a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of those who attend. The key observation made thus far is of developing connection, relationships and trust among participants and staff. Participants are demonstrating that they feel safe and supported in the Journeys environment, often returning the following week to the programme with a friend or two from school. This emphasises the importance of participating with peers.
Nuku Ora are proud to be supporting this programme through the Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa fund, and are excited to observe the impact that the programme has over the remaining delivery period.
Journeys is delivered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3.45-5:00 pm at Ricoh Sports Centre. You can follow the progress of the programme via ‘journeystaita’ on Instagram.