Having signed up to become a Sport England Sport Maker, Helen Keeling figured that the best way to learn more about the scheme would be to attend a local Sport Makers workshop. Therefore she headed to Farnham, Surrey, to find out what it was all about…
What are Sport Makers?
Funded by the National Lottery, Sport England’s Sport Makers programme is attempting to recruit tens of thousands of new volunteers from across the country to organise and lead community sporting activities. Volunteers must be aged 16 or over.
Sport Makers are basically sports enthusiasts who want to make sport happen. This could either be informally with family and friends (e.g. encouraging a friend to try out a new activity, organising a kick about at a local sports hall etc.), or it could be more formal, like organising a sports event in a local community or helping to marshal an event.
The crux of the scheme is about helping to deliver the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games sporting legacy – Places People Play – by inspiring more people to play sport.
If you’re considering becoming a Sport Maker, I would strongly recommend that you attend a local workshop. In addition to being fun, and a great opportunity to meet like-minded people, the workshops do a number of things. First, they give you an appreciation as to what the scheme is all about. Second, they provide you with ideas, and inspiration, for things that you could get involved with in your local community (personally, I picked up about 7,000 pamphlets) and, third, they expose the ‘mechanics’ of the programme…
Each Sport Maker makes a ‘pledge’ to increase participation in sport and they briefly explain how they are planning to do this. They are then asked to try to make ten hours of sport happen. On making sport happen, they record their ‘sports making’ within their personal Sport Maker webpage.
Sport England is hoping that, of its 40,000 Sport Makers, 20,000 will continue to volunteer in sport beyond these ten hours.
Want to become a Sport Maker?
If you would like to help deliver the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy by becoming a Sport Maker, register your interest at www.sportmakers.co.uk.
Helen Keeling, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine