Sportism shows how Clubmark is a starting point for success
Sportism is a sports and leisure group set up for children between the ages of 4 and 12 who have high functioning autism/Asperger's in Trafford, Greater Manchester.
Founded at the end of 2009 by three mothers of children with high functioning autism/Asperger's syndrome, they were inspired to create the Club after seeing the incredibly positive way the children responded to equipment at a gymnastics birthday party held at a local club. Seeing the confidence and freedom with which their children moved encouraged them to set up a weekly session where the children could develop their skills and above all, enjoy themselves.
The parents initially contacted the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) regarding advice on how to establish themselves as a Club and were signposted to the Clubmark resources and their local sports development contact at GreaterSport.
Sportism is 18 months old and successfully achieved Clubmark in May 2011, making it the third club of its kind to be accredited in the Greater Manchester area and it now has a growing young membership attending the weekly session.
Despite being a relatively young club, the committee has developed a range of partnerships and has been pro-active in its efforts to secure funding.
Through its relationship with GreaterSport and Sport Trafford, Sportism accesses a variety of sports coaches to ensure club members can participate in a range of activities and the Club has forged strong links with nearby schools through local Special Education Needs Coordinators who have been instrumental in marketing and promoting Sportism.
The Club received some initial start-up funding through the Aiming High fund and in 2010 held a well-attended fundraising event at a nearby golf club, raising more than £3,000 on the night with the support of 28 local businesses and have since begun work on additional fund raising projects.
Jenny Burton, Club Development Officer for Sport Trafford, who supported the club through their assessment, commented:
"Sportism established themselves using Clubmark criteria, making the assessment very straightforward. There are some excellent examples of good practice within the club and the progress they have made in such a short period of time is outstanding."
Marie Dixon, EFDS National Development Manager, added:
"Sportism have demonstrated how using the Clubmark resources as a starting point for your club can really help make a difference. Not only did using the resources saving the volunteers valuable time in ensuring policies and procedures were in place but it supported them in developing the club their community needed. Sportism demonstrates how no matter what size of club you are then Clubmark is achievable."
Thu, 15/09/2011 - 8:37am