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Can sport boost enjoyment of education?

Sport can help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enjoy education more, as well improving their behaviour and educational attainment, according to the results of a programme published this week.

Thirty-three community sports clubs across London helped to deliver the ‘Sporteducate’ programme created in partnership between the national sport for social development charity Sported and Deutsche Bank’s ‘Born to Be’ youth engagement scheme.

Over the last three and a half years, 2103 young people aged 10 to 18 years old have participated in different sporting activities combined with regular supplementary Maths, English and language classes, homework clubs, IT teaching, employability support, job skills sessions and personal mentoring from Deutsche Bank volunteers.

Results indicate that the programme had a dramatic impact on young people’s attitudes, educational performance and personal development: 

  •    – More young people enjoyed learning (increasing from 61 pre-programme to 81% after three years of the programme).

  •    – The positive effect on attitudes also saw improvements in school attendance, punctuality and completing homework on time, with 57% of young people reporting improved behaviour at school.

  •    – The number of young people performing at a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ level at school increased significantly, from 70% pre-programme to 87% after three years on the programme.

  •    – More young people thought a future career is important (increasing from 78 to 94%).

sported-lr-348 One participant on the programme described how “lessons at school have lots of people, so it’s hard to get help”. Dominic, aged 11, said Sporteducate had improved his Maths and English. “Here it’s a small group,” he added. “The teacher is great – she answers my questions and helps with my work.”

Chris Grant, Chief Executive at Sported, said: “Sporteducate’s results prove how powerful sport and community groups can be in transforming young lives when given the right support and resources. Tackling educational inequality shouldn’t stop at the school-gates, it requires a holistic and creative approach in order to reach and engage those who could benefit most.”

The results were based on the comparison of 878 pre-programme surveys and 718 post-programme surveys, completed by young people between March 2014 and May 2017. Download the full report here.

Nicole Lovett, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility UK at Deutsche Bank, said: “We are delighted with the results of sporteducate. The work that community sports clubs do every day with vulnerable young people, to ensure no-one gets left behind, is testament to the success of the programme.

To find out more about Sported, visit www.sported.org.uk or follow @sported_uk on Twitter.

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