New Sport and Crime Standards “Crucial Building Blocks” says Paralympic Great

SkillsActive teams up with Laureus Sport for Good Foundation to tackle crime through sport

The first ever National Occupational Standards, which will be used to help tackle gang membership, crime, and anti-social behaviour using sport in our community, have been launched by SkillsActive.

The Level 2 standards were developed after a three-year project run by the Active Communities Network to examine the use of sport to engage with gangs and young people involved in crime.

Funded by Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, the standards define best practice for using sport to tackle crime and will be used to develop new accredited training programmes which will focus on the use of sport to help young gang members and offenders break out of the crime cycle.

Baroness Tanni Grey Thomson, vice chairperson of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, says: “These occupational standards provide crucial building blocks that will unlock sport’s potential to help tackle gun and gang crime. Laureus is delighted to be supporting this vital initiative, as it lies right at the heart of our mission to fund and promote the use of sport as a tool to tackle key social challenges around the world.”

The development of the standards is the first stage in efforts to professionalise this area of work. The standards can be used in a range of training and employment settings and Laureus hope to use them in sport and crime projects around the world.

SkillsActive – the sector skills council for Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being – worked with a number of partners to develop the standards, including the Football Foundation, Metropolitan Police and Kickz.

SkillsActive chief executive, Stephen Studd, says: “There have never been national occupational standards in this area before, so this was a significant and exciting piece of work for us.

“We know that sport is a great leveler – it has the unique potential to bring communities together. We also know that participation in sport can reduce youth crime and anti-social behaviour, so to now be able to provide clear standards on how coaches, volunteers and managers in our community can use sport to tackle crime is fantastic.

“Over the next 12 months, we look forward to seeing the first qualifications in this area be developed for the benefit of the sport sector and the community.”

The Active Communities Network is now working with 1st4sport to develop qualifications for the sporting workforce.

Gary Stannett, chief executive of the Active Communities Network, says: “We have been working within the sport and social change arena over a number of years and the use of sport to tackle youth crime has been desperately needed as a professional development pathway for community sports coaches and other professionals using sport to engage at risk young people. We are delighted to have been a catalyst in developing these new standards for the sector.”

Ned Wills, director of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, says: “This groundbreaking initiative is paving the way for new accredited training programmes that will widen the ways in which we use sport in the UK and beyond. The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is delighted to be supporting this pioneering programme.”

1st4sport is currently the only awarding body who will be developing the qualifications. Keep checking this website for more information about how to apply to become recognised to deliver the qualifications.