More than three-quarters of young people in the Midlands were inspired to get active by this year’s legendary summer of sport, but less than a fifth have taken up new sports following the Olympics, research shows.
Young people are being put off by long waiting lists and a lack of affordable sporting activities in their communities, according to The Co-operative.
The Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers believe that by bringing sport to the doorstep of disadvantaged communities they are helping to address the problem, and are now calling on other young people to get involved.
More than 840 young volunteers from across the Midlands provide children with the opportunity to participate in sport.
With 30 projects already established in the region following an investment of more than £240,000, the volunteers programme trains young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, aged between 16 and 25, to be sports coaches and inspires them to play an active role in their local community. The programme also supports the young volunteers through sports qualifications as well as helping them to gain employment and go on to further training.
Opinion Matters surveyed 1,181 young people aged between 16 and 24 who are no longer in full time education, in October.
Nationally, more than half of young people said the Olympics, including its Games Makers, inspired them to consider volunteering but more than a third still do not know where to turn to access information about volunteering in their local area.
Of the quarter of young people who do volunteer, one in five chooses to do it through local sports activities. The rates of volunteering are highest in the black and Asian communities where 27% and 40% of young people respectively say they do some kind of volunteering.
Sarah Klueter, senior community manager at The Co-operative Group, said: “After such an epic summer of sport, this new report paints a deeply concerning picture. Clearly we have succeeded in inspiring young people to get active and get involved in their communities, yet we have failed to provide the right opportunities.
“That’s where StreetGames comes in. We know from the 5,000 young people who have stepped forward to become sports volunteers that when provided with supported opportunities on their doorstep, even in the most deprived areas, it gives young people the motivation to achieve and to give something back.”