Sporting Chance becomes Sport in Parks

Young people aged 11 to 14 are being encouraged by the Herts Sport and Physical Activity Partnership (HSP) to spend their evenings exercising in the outdoors, as early intervention project ‘Sporting Chance’ takes to green spaces across the county.

Until the end of August, free bootcamp fitness sessions can be found in seven of Hertfordshire’s public parks, led by the qualified coaches who were previously delivering the sessions at indoor venues.

Despite restrictions easing, the facilities Sporting Chance have used over the past year are likely to be inaccessible until the autumn. Project Officer Charlie Mann worked with the coaches on the project to source and establish the temporary solution:

‘Prior to the pandemic, Sporting Chance was offering vulnerable young people throughout the county the chance to become physically active and develop boxing and football skills. Now that the venues we used are closed, we wanted to continue the offer using parks and green spaces. There has already been so much disruption to our participants’ lives in recent months; if we can support them with a bit of consistency, it might make the next few weeks – including returning to school – easier for them to deal with.

‘By moving Sporting Chance outside, I hope that we can reach a greater audience, too. If young people see others training and working on their fitness it may spark an enthusiasm to want to join in.’

HSP, usually based at the University of Hertfordshire has longstanding, proactive relationships with each of the county’s ten local authorities. Their support in ensuring that the project has been able to continue has been of paramount importance.

Parks in Hertford, Stevenage, Borehamwood, Hemel Hempstead, Cheshunt, Hitchin and Welwyn Garden City are all hosting sessions on either a Tuesday or Thursday evening. To join, participants simply need to sign up in advance at Sporting Chance.