Cougars Take National Lead Through Sporting Chance Launch
Keighley Cougars has become the first Rugby League club in the country – and potentially the first sporting body - to offer a recognised qualification through a ground breaking sports-education awards programme.
‘Sporting Chance,’ designed to equip young people from local disadvantaged communities with new learning and life skills, is being run in conjunction with Incommunities, the Bradford district’s biggest social housing landlord.
Cougars’ second partner is CRI, a national social care charity that has designed and accredited a tailor-made educational programme to positively address and mitigate some of the serious social issues facing young people in Keighley and district.
This is achieved by engaging them in a range of educational and sporting activities in a safe environment away from the drugs and crime seen on some of the estates in Keighley.
Sporting Chance is being delivered by Keighley Cougars player and youth project worker Jonny Presley. The sports-education award element of the initiative will be officially launched at Cougar Park, on Tuesday, May 18, 11.30am to 1pm.
Its key objective is to deliver work experience and job opportunities to young people aged 13 to 19, as well as opening up access to other activities, such as climbing and mountain biking.
The Sporting Chance award is accredited to the equivalent of 1 GCSE A*-C. It consists of seven modules - coaching, enterprise, environment, education/employment, democracy, healthy lifestyles and safer communities.
Keighley Cougars general manager Helen Carter said: “We are the first Rugby League club to offer such an award and, we believe, the first sporting organisation too. The programme is purpose built to provide individual development plans for each young person to help them fulfil their true potential and realise their aspirations. “
Cougars’ director Graham Kemp, of Riddlesden, joint managing director of High Technology Lighting in Leeds, said: “Team sports activities are essential for children and young people, and can prove particularly beneficial to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. They feel they belong and are doing something worthwhile by being part of a winning team.
“The sports-education awards programme is unique. Not only does it encourage young people to develop their rugby skills and improve their health and fitness in a fun and constructive way, but it also helps to better educate them by nurturing and developing key skills, at the same time equipping them with a recognised qualification.
“We want to give young people a sporting chance. Cougars are taking the sporting lead in this initiative and we feel there could well be potential to roll out the programme nationally to other sports clubs. And, who knows, at the end of the day we may just find a Cougars star of the future!”
Karen Lee, acting director of Incommunities – aire-wharfe, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this exciting programme. Incommunities is committed to working with Keighley Cougars and their partners to open up new opportunities for local young people. We want to help give them a sporting chance to learn new skills and build better lives for themselves.”