Our Askern Doorstep club takes place at Campsmount school, we average around 20 young people at each session with a good mixture of boys and girls. Sports such as rounder’s, football and tennis are all very popular with the young people.
Although during the first few weeks of the sessions it became evident the girls were reluctant to participate with the boys, we often had to run two separate sessions with different activities taking place. This is of course possible during sessions but as the activities hope to promote inclusion and equal opportunities for all it was the aim of the session to get everyone working together.
However this changed when Jess, a young participant who especially enjoyed playing tennis thought that it would be better for everyone to play together. When she first started coming to the sessions she was quite shy, but as the weeks have gone by her confidence has grown and she started taking some responsibility at sessions.
She would look after the tennis equipment and make sure everyone there had a racket, she would also help to keep everyone engaged when there were some challenging behaviour issues.
Jess has become a role model during the sessions and this is evident through other young people asking for her advice on how to correctly play various tennis shots.
She has been instrumental in building relationships with the boys, now instead of having to split the session we are able to deliver one session which is enjoyable for everyone. The more experienced participants will help coach and engage the less experienced, and they have really taken ownership of the sessions. They now chose what they want to do and create variations of the original games we played.
Jess’ development over the spring and summer has been very rewarding to see, we hope that Jess continues to volunteer at sessions and we are sure there will be opportunities for her to develop further.