Sporty youngsters who encourage others to get fit and active have been rewarded for their efforts.
Each year, 16 to 19-year-olds sign up for the Sure Sports Leaders’ Programme, run by Manx Sport and Recreation and sponsored by the telecoms firm.
The teenagers gain skills at a week-long summer camp at the National Sports Centre, then coach voluntarily at schools, community clubs, Manx Sport and Recreation (MSR) activities and primary schools’ sports festivals through the year.
The scheme promotes a major aim of the Strategy for Sport – getting more people more active more often.
For some, their participation as young leaders also leads to a coaching award.
In the autumn and spring terms, Sure Isle of Man rewards the young leaders who have recorded the most hours’ coaching.
Sean Jackson, of Ballakermeen High School, received a £100 Sure voucher from Sarah Jarvis, the company’s Marketing Manager, after completing 146 hours last term as a volunteer. Ruby Turner (St Ninian’s High School, 45 hours) received a £75 Sure voucher and Keisha Hewison (University College Isle of Man, 39 hours) a £50 Sure voucher.
They are among 22 leaders who – in addition to exams and other commitments – completed a total of 560 voluntary hours during the term.
Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said: ‘Our Strategy for Sport identifies the importance of young people getting involved in physical activity from an early age to lead a healthy lifestyle.
‘The Sure Sports Leaders Programme allows us to involve many more children in sport than we could otherwise reach and children enjoy being coached by our young leaders.
‘Meanwhile, the young leaders gain invaluable experience that boosts their CVs – and can even lead to careers in sport.’
Sarah Jarvis said: ‘We are delighted to support the initiative, as it promotes collaborative working, coaching skills, physical activity and a real sense of community.
‘Each year, young leaders contribute more and more of their time to nurturing other young people’s love of sport and fitness.
‘I congratulate everyone who is taking part in the 2017/18 scheme and hope you continue to enjoy it.’
George Dickinson (St Ninian’s High School), who was overall Sure Sports Leader of the Year 2016/17 after volunteering for 100 hours, will receive an award at the 2017 Isle of Man Sports Awards at the Villa Marina on March 1st.
Recruitment for the 2018/19 Sure Sports Leaders’ Programme begins in February, when Year 11 students will receive presentations in school assemblies.
For further information on the Sure Sports Leaders’ Programme, contact Sam Caine, Community Sports Development Officer and Coach, on 01624 688557 or email him via Sam.Caine@gov.im.
Photo - from left, Sam Caine, Community Sports Development Officer and Coach, Keisha Hewison, Ruby Turner, Sean Jackson and Sarah Jarvis, Sure Isle of Man’s Marketing Manager.