Blog post -
An asset-based approach is vital in our under-resourced communities
James Gregory, Area Director – London & South East of StreetGames, a member of the London Urban Sport Group, explains why an asset-based approach is so important when working in disadvantaged and under-resourced communities and how urban sport is a key component of it.
StreetGames is a national charity that works locally. We support a network of trusted community organisations who utilise the power of Doorstep Sport and Physical Activity to transforms the lives of young people living in some of the UK’s most disadvantaged communities.
StreetGames supports organisations already embedded in these under-resourced communities to offer what we know as Doorstep Sport – a fun, informal, and social sport offered in the right place, at the right time, in the right style, at the right price and delivered by the right leader (The ‘5 Rights’ of Doorstep Sport).
The Doorstep Sport model completely aligns with the mission of the London Urban Sport Group – working together to take sport and physical activity opportunities to non-traditional sporting spaces and activating local people to deliver to children and young people.
The target audience is the disadvantaged 11 to 25-year-old who, typically, is not a member of any other sports club.
Despite being ‘sports positive’, in so far as they don’t rule out sport, 70% of participants are otherwise active only within their educational environment; only 16% are members of a sports club and just 14% visit leisure centres.
This is why it’s so important to empower and invest in these local organisations to deliver sport on the doorstep of these young people so we remove many traditional barriers that often prevent our target audience from accessing a high-quality sports offer.
Doorstep Sport takes an Asset-Based Community Development approach, as we view spaces and the people in the community as assets and solutions, rather than needs and issues that need addressing by outside agencies – building from the ground up as opposed to parachuting in.
We empower and invest in the community via our local Sport for Good Cluster networks– which are borough-wide clusters of organisations who come together to collaborate and use sport to address local issues on top of inactivity.
It’s also vital that local organisations ‘grow their own’ workforce, by giving their participants the opportunity to become volunteers and coaches to add to the capacity and the sustainability of community organisations.
That’s why we run our StreetGames' National Training Academy.
Both StreetGames and London Sport advocate for more cross-sector collaboration when it comes to investing in and supporting communities to build back better post-pandemic.
Solutions are so much more effective when they are part of a wider whole community or public health approach, as opposed to a single sector intervention.
Community organisations work so hard to support their areas, they now need the trust, respect, recognition and investment they deserve for helping people to be active, healthy and happy so they are able to survive and thrive during 2021 and beyond.
The London Urban Sport Group shares knowledge and provides a collective voice for physical activity and sport within the urban environment, encouraging more organisations and local authorities to back this approach. Find out more here.
If your organisation interested in joining the London Urban Sport Group, get in touch.