WGC aims to translate the current government initiatives health and welfare to the local communities within our area. At present, the government has designated five to ten year plans which aim to change national attitudes to health and welfare, predominantly in an effort to address the ongoing obesity crisis. One of the ways the government hopes to do this is through a new sport strategy, which strives to get more people into sport (which is the responsibility of Sport England to allocate funding to community projects like ours). The government strategy is broken down into a triage of needs in order to achieve this:
- places – giving local communities the space to safely and securely enjoy sport
- people – providing the encouragement and resources to get everybody in your community getting involved, so as they foster a community spirit which helps everyone achieve their sporting goals
- play – providing a wide variety of sports to engage everyone within the community
The government’s strategy aims to harness the power of the Olympic legacy, harnessing the UK’s passion for sport to increase grassroots participation in sport and volunteering to support our continual sporting development and achievement. This in turn will then have the added benefit of contributing to creating more opportunities for economic growth. It must be stressed that this is a community led, community owned, and community driven set of goals. This is why, for our local area, Worthing Gymnastics is critical. The Worthing Gymnastics project amply understands this need to keep the Olympic spirit alive. Our aim is to build upon community links with businesses, schools, other non profit organisations, our funding partners (for example Sport England), and most importantly Worthing community to provide workforce employment and offering pathways to careers in sport. The project is two tiered, engaging with volunteers and qualified coaches.
Worthing Gymnastics Club goes a step further in its full support for the British Gymnastics leadership academy scheme endorsed by our NGB British Gymnastics. This scheme is designed to give young people between the ages of fourteen to twenty four the opportunity to start a career in sport that involves leadership development, with the hope of creating future coaches, and is a significant contribution to the UK Government’s drive to reduce national youth unemployment. Participants within the scheme will be guided and engaged in running positions such as events management, fundraising, general club management, and of course coaching, all the while in real life work experience, and so develop their leadership skills, abilities and sense of responsibility. Our young people that we sponsor through the scheme may not necessarily go on to become gymnastics coaches, but there is every possibility that they will become the future leaders of our sporting society, such as judges, personal trainers, club managers, and coaches in other sporting disciplines. At this time of current national economic hardship which fosters huge increases in career competition, it is believed that their time within the Leadership Academic Scheme gives young people a better chance to forge an outstanding career. Furthermore, the qualifications gained from this scheme are on a par with the Duke of Edinburgh awards.
Within our club and future, we see it that, together with our local community, we must continue the sporting and social momentum for decades to come, giving untold benefit to the area and communities we live and work in. Because of the not for profit nature of the club, we set no limits on how far we can benefit the community, and allowing the local community to embrace a sense of ownership of their sporting development. One of the mantras of our club and project is Act Local, Act Global. We see the project reaching far beyond the borders of the community which we serve.