Sport in the community

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

Blantyre Soccer Academy believes that families who play together, stay together. Our new idea, Blantyre Bikes Better is a community cycling project which aims to get 300 local children and families to take up cycling or have the confidence to venture further on their own bikes.
We will break down the barriers to cycling and get the community out on their bikes and increasing their confidence, health, sense of freedom and widening horizons that cycling can bring.
We will offer a range of services including community bike rides, bike training, bike maintenance/repair and bike sharing/swapping. We will work with a steering group of local people to map out safer bike routes in and around Blantyre/Hamilton and produce a map which will be available to local people to allow them to enjoy cycling whilst reducing the barrier to cycling due to the fear of crime and road safety. In addition we will work with the Police, local schools and youth groups to engage children at an early age about the benefits of cycling.
We have recently been successful in a capital bid to purchase a range of quality bikes for all ages, safety gear and safe storage. Excitingly we will be the first community sports club in South Lanarkshire to have a special ‘O-Pair’ wheelchair bike ensuring that people of all abilities have access to cycling.
Statistics show that South Lanarkshire has the 5th worst rate of children cycling to school than all councils in Scotland, whilst cycling as the main form of transport (0.3%) is dramatically lower than the Scottish average (1.1%) only 29.1% of households in South Lanarkshire have access to a bike compared to 34.7% Scottish average.
We are seeking £25,000 match funding from Aviva Community Fund to support the development of this project by enabling us to employ a Full Time Project Worker who will help us to enthuse local people to become active participants and leaders within the project through volunteering, and help us to sustain the project long term.
Blantyre Soccer Academy is one of the leading community sports organisations in South Lanarkshire, successfully balancing sports development and community cohesion. The Academy is open to children, young people and families in the Blantyre and surrounding areas of South Lanarkshire. There are over 17,000 people living in the area and according the Scottish Index of Multi Deprivation (SIMD), Blantyre is within the worst 5% in Scotland, with high crime and low health statistics prominent within the area.
Since 2010 BSA has played a significant role in providing diversionary activities, interventions and opportunities for young people living in and around the Blantyre area. Our vision is to make BSA more than a football club by offering training and learning opportunities in multiple sports, play and learning opportunities, inclusive to all local people and families.
We do this by creating strong links to the community through our recruitment of local people onto our voluntary committee, parent volunteers and youth development programmes. We currently have a board of 5 directors who make decisions which drive forward the aims of the organisation as well as a team of 75 volunteer coaches and 40 youth employability placements who support 420 children to be active through sport and play, on a weekly basis.
The Blantyre area has a dramatically higher percentage of young people aged 16-24 who are unemployed (32.59%) compared with the rest of Scotland (27.84%) and as a result many young people feel disengaged from society. In recent times this has culminated in a dramatic rise in crime and anti social behaviour which came to a head in 2011 when 8 murders were committed within one square mile of the area over an 18 month period. In response to the outcry by local people, Blantyre Soccer Academy was born from a sense of desperation and the need to bring the community together through a shared vision and responsibility, “Building a better Blantyre, one person at a time"

Project Video

Blantyre Soccer Academy SCIO

Moment of Pride

Blantyre Soccer Academy have been pivotal in harnessing change by using sport as a platform for community engagement, empowerment and cohesion. We are proud of the Blantyre Bikes Better project as it will bring our community together through play, by breaking down barriers and opening horizons.

Location: Blantyre