Empowering individuals is vitally important when navigating the complexities of sport and physical activity delivery to family groups an audience was told last week at London Sport.
‘Activity Begins at Home’ was the latest event in a monthly programme, organised by London Sport, looking to bring the capital’s stakeholders together to build consensus and collaboration.
Last Thursday (May 23), it concentrated on Sport England’s Families Fund and the work that is being done across the capital to support families to get more physically active together.
Speaker David Pitcher from Wheely Tots, a charity that specialises in parent and toddler balance bike sessions, emphasised the importance of providing parents with the chance to learn from each other.
“Delivering to a family unit is not a simple thing to do, you have to trust families to lead the sessions for themselves,” he said. “A good session is where parents talk to each other.
“I am keen children see their parents as leaders rather than activity providers, but it is also what happens outside our session which is really important to us.”
With seven different external speakers in attendance to share best practice, there were plenty of re-occurring themes throughout the morning such as barriers to participation.
Barriers including communications around sessions dates/times and language barriers, a perceived lack of time and money as well as long-term health problems were all raised.
Programme Manager Ellie Lock said: “All the stakeholders have worked really well together, if you are having trouble there’s someone who can help. We struggled getting into schools, especially in curriculum time, but working together has made a big difference.”
Speakers throughout the morning were open and honest about the successes and pitfalls of targeting sport and physical activity delivery at families specifically.
London Sport’s Relationship Manager, Rob McLean, said:
“It was fantastic to bring so many different projects together, to share successes and to understand the challenges everyone is facing in supporting families to be active.
“There was so much common experience in the room and the conversations throughout really underlined the appetite to learn and collaborate."