Report Subject: Positive Role Models in Doorstep Sport. Title: The Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers programme and role models

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1 Report Subject: Positive Role Models in Doorstep Sport briefing paper Title: The Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers programme and role models Background Many StreetGames projects have project managers and coaches who act as role models to the young people who come to play sport at their projects. Over the last four years, many StreetGames projects have become part of the Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteer (CSYV) programme and they are now developing young people into volunteers who are also becoming role models to the other participants at the sessions. This briefing note brings together information on role models based on the findings of the four annual evaluation reports of the CSYV Programme. The evaluation process has used both quantitative and qualitative research with the emphasis on face to face interviews with project managers, coaches and young volunteers. The evaluation process did not intend to identify issues around role models but this theme has become more apparent as the programme has matured and young volunteers and project managers have grown in their experience. I LOVE EVERYTHING, LOVE GETTING OUT THERE AND COACHING AND BEING A ROLE MODEL Laura, 17 year old young volunteer

2 projects. As the young volunteers have a high level of respect and confidence in them, they are more likely to ask questions, listen to feedback, watch what they do and feel more confident about progressing to the next step as a volunteer as they know that will be supported. Role model project managers and coaches give young people an aspiration to be like them, to behave like them, to get qualifications, to get a job in sport, to be respected and to have responsibility. Role model project managers and coaches are more effective at motivating young people to progress from being a participant to becoming a volunteer and The importance of role model project managers and coaches for young people Role model project managers and coaches reinforce positive behaviour with young people at their sessions. They show young people how to behave, how to talk to other people, how to deal with difficult situations and this can be a welcome contrast to a difficult challenging home situation for some young people. Role model project managers and coaches are more than a member of staff at a project - they feel more like a friend to them. Young people often feel that they are an adult that they can trust, they can talk to, especially if things are difficult at home or at school. Role model project managers and coaches are excellent mentors for young volunteers at their developing into a qualified sports leader/ coach. (A recent survey of young people at one StreetGames project showed that 55% of the participants wanted to become volunteers at the sessions and 42% wanted to become a qualified sports coach.) The project manager s and coach s view on being a role model Project managers and coaches said that they felt a strong sense of responsibility about being a good role model. They recognised that some of the young people at their sessions wanted to be like them - As a role model, you have to make sure it happens, got to do it otherwise you lose respect. The project managers and coaches knew that they needed to lead from the front and if you do it all with them, makes it easier to get them to progress as they have confidence in you for example, they ll do the CSLA if you re

3 the tutor. They knew that they needed to make a bond with their young people, especially if they wanted them to progress - I ve developed a rapport with them, it s important not to talk down to them, ways of talking round it, using humour and they can see what I ve done, I feel passionate about getting them into sport. Coaches did recognise that it wasn t always easy being a role model for young volunteers at challenging sessions as they sometimes didn t have enough time to spend with them. (Their priority at this kind of session was to keep the young people busy and to keep the activity moving.) What young people said that they wanted from role model project managers and coaches Young volunteers said that it was important for coaches to have a good technical coaching ability so that they could learn from them and be mentored. (This was the aspect which all volunteers - both male and female - emphasised during their interviews.) They wanted the coaches to be great coaches, to be able to demonstrate different skills, to watch them when they helped to run part of the session and to praise them when things went well and to suggest how they could improve when it didn t go so well I watch what he does, he s an excellent coach, one of the best coaches I know. The kids were arguing in their teams, I watched Siobhan (the head coach) and now copy her and I can sort it. I rate him very highly, from the very beginning he has taught me what I need to know. Young people said that project managers and coaches needed to be reliable and committed to the sessions. The importance of young volunteers as role models Role model young volunteers dispel myths about different sports with both girls and boys more easily e.g. the myth that girls can t play football. One young female volunteer said, When I work in schools, the pupils ask if I play for a team(she plays for West Bromwich Albion) the boys say that girls can t play football but when I do my demos they are impressed girls love me as a good role model. Role model young volunteers play an active role in encouraging others to get involved in sport as participants and volunteers I encouraged Ali to go on the residential he was really nervous, it was just a little push and now he volunteers a lot, I can see that I am successful as a role model, I can have a positive effect on what people do.

4 Role model young volunteers are encouraged to demonstrate positive behaviour at the sessions. This encourages other participants to change their behaviour trouble and they can t believe how much I ve improved as a person volunteering has taken me out of groups on the streets and into a different group of young people. and this helps the session to run more smoothly. How young volunteers benefit from being role models Young people get a great feeling of satisfaction and pride from being a role model, it helps them to feel good about themselves. As one young volunteer said, The kids loom up to you, they listen to what you say. Being from Rochdale AFC, they see you as a big deal, like a professional player. Young volunteers develop a strong sense of responsibility and loyalty to their projects. They don t just see themselves as a volunteer at the session but they know that they are a role model and could be recognised outside the session by other young people. This helps to reinforce their own positive behaviour they know that they have to set an example. Young volunteers feel more confident if they know they are a role model. They have recognised that they are doing well and that they have the ability to progress. The benefit of being a volunteer role model at their project can be a very important counter balance for a young person if they feel that they have been seen as a failure or lost cause by adults in other settings such as at school. Some volunteers talk about how proud they feel when other adults see how well they have done they knew me when I was younger and naughty and always in Key learning points: How project managers and coaches support young volunteers to become role models Project managers and coaches help young volunteers to develop into role models at their sessions. It is integrated into how they work with their young volunteers and this means that they don t need to take a different approach or additional resources to do this. Project managers and coaches support young volunteers to recognise and practice good behaviour at the sessions as a foundation to good volunteering. This is often part of the young volunteers journey to separate themselves from their peers at a session and their first step towards becoming a role model. Project managers and coaches sometimes give young volunteers the opportunity to volunteer at a number of different sessions as it can sometimes be difficult to develop as a volunteer and be seen as a role model amongst your peers if you were previously a participant at the session. Project managers and coaches recognise that young volunteers need qualifications to prove to their peers and other adults that they know their sport. You learn a lot from the courses, you re seen in a more professional light

5 especially when you re so young, people treat you like an adult. This helps to improve both their playing and coaching ability so that they can start to develop as a coach and become a role model for both participants and other young volunteers. Project managers and coaches often nominate young volunteers for volunteer awards as this validates their which is very sought after by their young people and then access to training courses and one to one support. They then start to increase the range of their responsibilities, start to volunteer at other sessions and start to get some qualifications. At the right age and qualification level, they may get the chance for some paid work as a sports coach whilst also volunteering. volunteering both to themselves and to others including participants at the sessions which helps to build and reinforce their status as a role model. Project managers and coaches often give young volunteers opportunities to lead a session themselves or to have paid work as a sports coach when appropriate as this helps to complete the pathway and reinforce them as a role model. This volunteer pathway helps Sporting Futures to recruit their own home grown coaches. Importantly for the young people attending the sessions, it gives them positive role models from their own communities - brothers and sisters often start to come to the sessions (the younger ones follow the older ones) and they are in turn the new potential volunteers for the future. ROLE MODEL CASE STUDIES CASE STUDY NO. 1. ALEx, PROjECT MANAGER AT SPORTING FUTURES IN CHESTERFIELD The typical pathway for a volunteer at Alex s project is to start as a participant and to progress to becoming a volunteer. The project s coaches identify participants as potential volunteers at the sessions and start off by asking them to be role models to the other participants at the sessions. This involves setting an example to the other young people through positive behaviour not swearing, not having arguments with each other, showing respect etc. Over time this gives them recognition - a hoodie It was clear that Alex was an important role model at his project. Many of the young people had known him for a long time through his work at Parkside School, they know that he wasn t going to move on, they often saw him at sessions and they trusted him. Alex also tutored the Sports Leader UK Level Two courses for his young volunteers. This was important as the role of tutor showed the young people that Alex knew his stuff and was good enough to be a tutor. One of the young volunteers said that Alex was important for volunteering at the project as he had a very good personality, people get on well with him, he s a very good coach and that s very important. If Alex wasn t a good coach, people wouldn t want to work for Sporting Futures.

6 Bret recognised that he had become a role model for many of the young people that he came into contact with through his volunteering. Bret said, that he liked it when he went into schools to do sessions and the kids remember CASE STUDY NO.2. BRET, YOUNG VOLUNTEER WITH SCUNTHORPE UNITED COMMUNITY SPORTS AND EDUCATION TRUST (SUFC TRUST) Before I came here, I didn t bother about anything, I got into you. They come up to you and try to hug you. The kids parents are so grateful that you re doing the sessions. Bret had developed a strong sense of responsibility and loyalty to the club which had had a positive effect on his behaviour even when he wasn t working as a volunteer. Bret said, at the school sessions, you re seen as an idol and so you have to behave good in and out of work. If you re seen drinking on the streets by kids, it doesn t look good and it reflects badly. trouble. It s given me new ideas Bret felt proud about what he had achieved as he had Bret was given the chance to volunteer at a range of coaching activities by Wayne, the project manager at the SUFC Trust. Wayne gave him the opportunity to do some sports leadership and coaching qualifications and mentored him on a regular basis, advising him about his career and telling him about opportunities to help him to progress. Bret had been volunteering for several months at a range of sessions including the Friday evening on target sessions turned his life around. He said, If I d carried on, I would have been in a lot of trouble. All my friends have given up on College and are on the dole. He said that my family is ever so happy and very proud. He recognised the role that Wayne had played in supporting him and it was clear that Wayne was more than a member of staff, he was more of an older brother, a friend and that Bret felt as though he belonged at the club with them. in the town, the weekly disability football session, helping to run the football in the community coaching sessions at schools and volunteering on match days at the club. Bret was also mentored by the coaches running the sessions All the coaches here are really good Bamber was a really I volunteer and I ve got a part-time job and all these qualifications I can t get my head around it and nor can they. I ve turned my life around here thanks to Wayne and his staff. good coach, that was important, he d tell me what was good, what wasn t good and how to improve it.

7 StreetGames StreetGames is a national partner of Sport England and a centre of expertise for developing doorstep sport in disadvantaged communities. The charity supports community based sports projects that deliver sport and volunteering opportunities to young people living in the 20% most deprived wards in the UK. StreetGames works with National Governing Bodies of Sport to establish and develop links between community and mainstream sport. Recognised by the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games Inspire Mark, StreetGames is creating a lasting legacy of doorstep sport in the UK.

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