Page last updated at 11:42 GMT, Monday, 26 July 2010 12:42 UK
Sportworx reaches lottery final

A sports project is recognised for its work with young people

Sportworx based in South Lanarkshire has reached the final stage of the National Lottery Awards.

The project will now go head to head against other Lottery-funded projects in the Best Sport Project category.

Other nominees in the category are a children's sport project in Cheshire and an education and community sports partnership programme in Dromore.

Voting for the finals of the National Lottery Awards closes on 13 August.

Unique project

The Sportworx programme targets people aged 15 to 20 in high deprivation areas offering them support to gain nationally accredited sports and coaching qualifications.

All projects in the running have already received Lottery funding and the Awards celebrate how they have put that money to good use.

Young people on a Sportworx programme, image courtesy of Sportworx
Young people gain self-esteem through the Sportworx programme

Brian Macleod, Sportworx organiser said: "Our project is unique in the fact we will continue to support individuals' development until they feel they can move on. We deliberately avoid the conveyor belt mentality ,where individuals are fast tracked to satisfy the projects needs.

"Sportworx has been going for five years now, for the past two years we have been funded by the Big Lottery.

"Over the course of this we have developed from one programme in the first year for 14 young people to the last year where we delivered four core Sportworx, two Danceworx and an advanced programme for graduates and over 40 junior programmes for primary age pupils. We have also developed a young person managed social enterprise project where the group identify community needs and develop and deliver sports programmes to address local issues."

'Gained confidence'

Michelle Grant and Yvonne Watt are two people who have benefitted from the Sportworx scheme. Brian Macleod outlines their stories:

"Michelle Grant grew up with several medical problems, including Addison's disease which causes skin darkening and hair loss, and partial deafness. This resulted in a lot of her childhood being spent in hospital.

"The consequences of this was that she found it difficult to socialize through her formative years and develop friendships.

"After participating in our first Danceworx programme she learned to accept her illness and has gained a lot of confidence. So much that she gave over 150 hours volunteering last year to help deliver junior programmes, mentor new trainees on the core programmes and has recently started her own dance programme in her local school.

"Michelle now has a normal social life and has gained employment with her local youth organisation whilst continuing to volunteer for Sportworx."

'Natural coach'

"Yvonne Watt was a stereotypical problem pupil during her school years, often in trouble and excluded. This eventually led to her becoming homeless and mixing with the wrong crowd.

Young people on a  raft, image courtesy of Sportworx
Gaining new skills is a key element of the Sportworx scheme

"Watt joined a core Sportworx programme and proved to be a natural coach, with an excellent attitude towards the training and an early understanding of the impact she could have on young people similiar to herself.

"Since graduating, Yvonne has also given many voluntary hours and has played a lead role in the development of the Entertainment group.

"She has also spoken at public forums on several occasions and has hosted our annual presentation event. Yvonne had also gained employment with the local youth organisation."

People in West Scotland are being urged to show their support by casting a vote to help the nominees win the final stage.

Cast your vote for Sportworx going online to:


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