Novus has teamed up with England Squash to deliver a highly successful new initiative at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre.
Sport is a great way to engage young people who may have struggled in the past. It also helps to build their confidence, communication, teamwork and life skills, which will help them integrate back into their communities.
Youth workers at Rainsbrook offer a variety of sports activities based on the needs and wants of the young people at the centre. They’d never experienced playing squash before, however, once the youth workers started to explain the game and improvise with tennis rackets and tennis balls, many young people showed an interest.
After hearing about the activity at Rainsbrook, James Thomas, Novus Sport and Enrichment Coordinator, got in touch with England Squash and the partnership was formed.
England Squash provided squash equipment along with training for the youth workers at Rainsbrook, which has allowed them to cater for the growing love for the sport at the centre.
Joanna Rowbottom, Partnerships and Communities Manager at England Squash, was more than happy to lend a helping hand. She said: “When we were initially contacted by James, we were delighted to hear that squash was so popular at Rainsbrook.
“Often squash is seen as a sport that can only be played on a squash court, but we’re particularly keen to reach new audiences and see the sport being played in different environments.
“It’s has been fantastic to be able to support this programme which reaches young people who might not typically have the chance to play squash or have heard of the sport.”
Squash is part of Rainsbrook’s enrichment timetable and PE curriculum, and has proved a popular hit with the young people on site, with every unit offered the opportunity to play squash weekly.
Unfortunately, the initiative is currently on hold due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, however the young people on site have been able to maintain their squash skills, within the rules of social distancing, as squash has been offered as an enrichment/practical activity to support their wellbeing at this time.
“This project shows the importance of collaborative working between different partners to share best practice and forge long-term lasting relationships,” said James.
“Offering learners new opportunities and experiences that they have not had before can have a huge impact. We have exposed a group of young people to squash and this could have a huge positive influence on their future.
“I would also like to highlight the amazing work of our youth workers, working with young people within the secure estate and the massive influence they can have.”
Further information on the partnership can be found on the Alliance of Sport in Criminal Justice website. Read the news article now to find out more.