Sport in the Community – was a recent workshop run by Jason Mckoy; Founder of Mercurial Sports; an organisation with a mission to improve the use and understanding of sport for educational and developmental purposes. He is a former footballer, UEFA Coach and sports writer with experience in Sport for development, including projects with the BBC and abroad.
The workshop was a collaboration with the Healthy Thames Project. The project runs a monthly forum giving local people a chance to speak on the topics that affect health services in the area. Community groups are also able to access long-term support to run socially prescribed programmes around Health and Wellbeing. Through the Healthy Thames events, it was learned that residents wanted training on how to set up a social sport business, which led to this workshop.
Residents got together over light refreshments, to learn about the benefits of sport and how to set up a business or charity that runs sport activities. Discussing the four main types of Sport for development programmes:
- Engage/Diversionary – sport is used as an alternative to less unsavoury behaviour.
- Engage to educate – sport is used for engagement with a particular group or individual with the view of developing a rapport and understanding with individuals and finding out what their aspirations are.
- Sport as a metaphor – sporting activity becomes representative of something else which helps with learning, comprehension and understanding.
- Governing or a Support Body
The workshop allowed residents to ask questions regarding their specific goals and see how they could go about setting up their own social business. Residents found the presentation incredibly helpful.