Community Sport Hubs provide a local home for sport. They help bring more sporting opportunities to people within the local community. One example of a hub that has quickly grown since its launch in 2011 is Tryst Community Sports Club, based at Larbert High School in Larbert. The hub now supports the development of a number of local sports clubs that use the school for their facilities, as well as improving links between clubs. It offers a wide variety of sports ranging from football, rugby, tennis, hockey and basketball to slightly more unusual activities such as rock-it-ball, cheerleading and water polo.
The hub, led by manager Billy Brotton, has a sustainable letting policy and business model, and has engaged with the local community through surveys and used the results to provide additional activities and classes at the hub. It also has a strong partnership with Stenhousemuir Football Club as well as the associated primary schools and a number of local sports clubs.
Speaking of the hub’s strong links with its partner organisations, Billy said: “We really want to lead a cultural change which inspires those in our local community to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. We are pleased to offer the opportunity for people of all ages to participate in enjoyable recreational activities and hope to have a positive effect on every local household.”
The Community Sport Hub project aims to establish best practise in terms of how young people are engaged in the management and development of the hubs. sportscotland operates on the principle that young people are the future leaders of Scottish sport, and the hubs provide the opportunity for them to get involved and gain valuable experience.
Billy said of the Tryst Community Sports Club : “It is amazing to see so many young people being involved in the programme, both as participants and in a volunteering capacity, with many of Larbert High’s senior pupils developing and utilising their coaching skills as part of the Community Sport Hub.”
More than 80 volunteers help deliver the hub’s activities. One such volunteer is 16-year-old Zoe Dickson, a senior pupil at the high school. Zoe has a passion for gymnastics and joined the hub as a volunteer helper at the Tryst Gymnastics Club. Based on her level of interest and commitment, the hub decided to support Zoe through the level one gymnastics coaching qualifications which she recently passed. She is now a pivotal member of the Tryst Gymnastics coaching team and leads sessions on her own.
Zoe also works with the Tryst Community Sport Hub Holiday Camps, which allow senior pupils to practise their coaching skills by planning, developing and delivering sports activities for younger pupils. The experience Zoe and other senior pupils gain as a result of leading the camps will be especially valuable in terms of pursuing further opportunities in sports and events management after graduating.
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