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Promotional Feature : Keeping young people engaged in sport: O'Brien's tips to improve motivation

Sport England has recently published the results of its research to help understand what young people want from sports facilities today to keep them active as they move into adult life.

Published in Sports Management 11 Jul 2016 issue 124
Inspiring young people to participate in sport is one of the key ingredients
Inspiring young people to participate in sport is one of the key ingredients

The main point that we took from it is that even though young people are going through some big life changes such as leaving education and leaving home, sport is still high on their agendas.

Nearly 60 per cent of 14- to 25-year-olds take part in sport and exercise at least once a week, so the challenge for sports facilities is to keep that motivation going so that they continue doing so for life. These 10 suggested are broad ideas to tap into how these young people see the world, but the report has also defined them as six distinct sporting personality types: sports enthusiasts; confident intellectuals; ambitious self-starters; cautious introverts; thoughtful improvers; and everyday youths.

So think about how each of these ideas can be adapted to meet the needs of each of these types.

Change #1 Time to get digital
You might think having WiFi is not an important element of the keep fit experience but today’s young people want to be connected wherever they are.

Change #2 Personalisation is key
Making sure that you offer a varied programme that meets the needs of all the different types of personality is going to be one of the most important things to get right to keep them all engaged.

Change #3 Social connections must be strong
A good sports and leisure centre has to be the kind of place where young people feel comfortable and happy hanging out with their friends; as well as being somewhere that they think they can make new friends with like-minded people. So think of new ways to bring people together outside of the sporting activity.

Change #4 Inspiration needs to be the name of the game
Everyone likes to know they are doing well and achieving something so you need to offer the programmes and facilities that inspire people to get started but that also motivate them to keep going.

Change #5 Creativity in what’s on offer
Keep mixing it up – don’t have one programme of activities that never changes. Young people live a life of online snippets and tend to have shorter attention spans so you need to keep them coming back by being creative with your activities.

Change #6 Bright, clean and modern is a must
The facilities have to be up to par or the simple fact is that they just won’t keep coming back.

Finding a trusted partner
In order to maximise your budget and deliver high quality sports facilities, you need to engage with a specialist whose team of experts has a proven track record in designing and building sports projects to a diverse range of exacting client specifications.

O’Brien Sports delivers natural sports pitches used for rugby, football and cricket. It also supplies synthetic and Multi Use Games Area pitches, with surfaces suitable for just about every sport and user – from professional sports teams to schools and communities.

Our services
O’Brien Sports offers a full range of sports pitch services, including:
• Full design and build
• construction projects
• Synthetic and multi-use games area (MUGA) pitches
• Pitch renovations
• Natural sports pitches
• Total solutions for sports pitches
• Infrastructure, including access roads and car parks

To discuss how you can create the right sporting environment for young people in your community, contact us:

Tel: 01926 423 918
Email: [email protected] 

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