IN a bid to promote sporting opportunities for people living in Pendle, in 2002 Pendle Leisure Trust created the Sports Development Team.
The idea was to provide a range of sporting opportunities and physical activities for young people in the borough, regardless of their sex, age or physical ability.
Initially, activities were all based out of Pendle Leisure Trust’s sports centres, but now they run at other locations in the borough to try in order to make sports more accessible.
Activities include sports coaching for schools, holiday clubs for children aged four to 13 years old and free and paid for community clubs.
The team has also been working hard to increase the amount of inclusive and adapted sports on offer.
They have been training others to coach disabled people in sports and want to make sure talented disabled sportspeople are identified and supported.
Mike Taubman project co-ordinator and coach, said: “The work of the Sports Development Team is wide reaching.
“The main aims are to develop sport and sporting activities and develop people through the use of sport. We run a huge range of activities from coaching sessions to holiday clubs and volunteer sessions and community work.”
The community work that they run in Pendle includes free sports sessions for young people aged eight to 18 years old, running clubs and youth leagues that allow young people aged 13 to 20 to create their own six-a-side football teams and compete in a league.
They also run paid for sessions including badminton, dance, fitness sessions specifically for children aged six to 12, tennis, cycling and more.
Another aspect of the team’s work is running the Pendle Volunteer Programme.
The programme helps young people living in Pendle develop sports coaching and community leadership skills, as well as giving them the opportunity to gain recognised qualifications.
The development team also works with up and coming and established sports clubs in the borough to help promote the clubs, give help applying for grants and help train their coaches.
Mike added: “There has been a lot of emphasis on sports since the Olympics with more funding being available.
“We’ve had more schools coming to us asking us to deliver a greater range of different sports.
“Our volunteer programme has been very popular in recent years.
“We are able to help the volunteers gain training certificates which helps them progress into a career in sports or child care.”