You can filter the posts on our blog by any combination of date, category or author.
With the 2022/23 academic year well underway, now is a great opportunity to take a closer look at the first year of Your Time: our programme aimed at encouraging more girls to try competitive sport.
Launched during the 2021/22 academic year in partnership with the Department for Education, the original aim of the programme was to empower girls to overcome the barriers preventing female participation in sport by creating effective solutions to those challenges.
Each school taking part in the programme selected a group of students to complete the Your Time online learning modules, building up essential leadership skills – communication, teamwork, self-belief, self-management and problem solving – which would ultimately help them to deliver a sporting event to their peers.
The impact from the first year of the programme has been inspiring. And year 2 looks set to be even more so, with 100 schools already signed up!
Your Time focuses on supporting the students who enrol on the programme to help them become confident young leaders. By completing the online learning modules, the leaders develop their skills and identify the barriers to participation which prevent their peers from taking part in sport. This then empowers them to create events which appeal directly to their fellow learners and tackle those challenges head on.
Through this ongoing work of learning and reflection, the Your Time leaders become effective role models, encouraging the participants to continue their sporting journey by becoming leaders themselves.
In year one of Your Time, 57 schools signed up for the programme, and a total of 522 girls accessed the learning modules. Of those 522, 411 completed the full programme and achieved their certification. Pioneer schools signed up from nine different regions of England, showing the universal appeal of the programme.
As part of their leadership journey, the girls design their own events and sign up participants to take part. Across the programme, a total of 2,399 girls took part in competitive sports events, which is an average of 45 per school and over 9,500 hours of competitive sport in total!
Before and after each school’s event, participants took part in a survey to gauge their views on taking part in sport. After the programme, the number of participants playing competitive sport ‘everyday’ or ‘most days’ increased.
Playing sport should also be fun and 90% of participants said they enjoyed taking part in the programme.
One of the recurring themes among schools taking part in the programme was to promote leadership qualities in their students – both by developing the skills of the girls completing the learning programme, but also showcasing them as role models to younger participants.
When surveyed, 100% of school coordinators felt that Your Time increased girls’ leadership skills. They were also unanimous in their view that Your Time Leaders demonstrated excellent knowledge of the events they were holding.
In addition, 464 of the participants surveyed wanted to go on and become Sports Leaders themselves, showing the programme’s potential legacy.
Students taking part in the programme are provided with access to Skills Tracker, our online application for recording learners’ reflections on their confidence in the five skills mentioned earlier.
Tracking these over time provides a great opportunity to see the learners’ development of their skills. During Year One of Your Time, the recorded reflections showed increases in overall confidence, but especially in self-belief and problem solving as the leaders took on board the feedback from their participants and built up their sports events accordingly.
Looking ahead, these skills are essential to young people and provide them the greatest opportunity to realise their potential. All our Qualifications and Awards are built on our Skills Framework – learn more about it here.
In particular, much of the feedback from leaders taking part in the programme focused on their experience of working as a team to put their events on and the benefits they felt from this.
One leader responded to our survey by saying: “I had a good team to work with and we supported each other so the event can be perfect: fun and still competitive.”
This was reinforced by another learner who added that the experience of completing the online learning programme helped them to feel confident about working as a team. They said: “Completing these modules and knowing that if something were to go wrong, I can easily overcome this by someone from my organising team backing me up or me to correct myself and then just move on and carry on with what I was doing or saying.”
At the end of the first year of Your Time, over a quarter of surveyed participants felt that they wanted to continue taking part in competitive sport, clearly showing the benefit of providing them with that first step into participation.
Combined with the increased focus on female sport through events like football’s European Championship this summer or the Commonwealth Games, the ambition would be for more girls to continue their journey into sport and to make it part of their everyday life.
With this in mind, the second year of Your Time takes on even greater importance.
Year One has been a success, but to really capitalise on this, we need to keep encouraging more girls to become leaders and, in turn, reach out to more of their peers to participate.
Your time is fully-funded and applications are now open for schools looking to take part in Year Two. Visit this page to find out more or register your interest in the programme using this form.
We know that we need more girls playing competitive sport – this is how we do it.
Register your interest today and one of our team will contact you to discuss your interest in our courses and answer any further questions that you may have.
Please enter your details below.