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A Record Summer of Sport and Fun 6 September 2006

More than 5,500 children attended Manx Sport and Recreation’s summer holiday activity programme which was facilitated Island wide by the Sports Development Team. In the biggest activity programme to date, this was an increase of 30% compared to the number of children that took part last summer.

In addition to the mainstream programme of activities the Sports Development Unit also facilitated sports activities for the 12–15 age category, children with disabilities, and a programme of activities for pre-determined target areas throughout the Island. Indeed the number of children from the target areas has substantially increased, by 48%, compared to the summer of 2005.

This programme has been partly funded through the Heritage Homes Youth Sports Development Scheme. The scheme represents a substantial investment by Heritage Homes Ltd., which, through partnership with the Isle of Man Sports Council, seeks to increase the involvement by young people in sporting activities on the Isle of Man. Mr Joe McLoughlin, a director of Heritage Homes, said:

‘My company has long recognised the value of sport involvement, particularly amongst young people. The Isle of Man has world class sports facilities available but sometimes youngsters need encouragement to take part. The activities undertaken by MSR with financial assistance from our scheme will, undoubtedly, help to generate that interest.’

Tourism and Leisure Minister David Cretney MHK said:

‘These are absolutely fantastic results, and great evidence of the continued good work, that the Sports Development Team do around the Island in encouraging young people into sport and a healthy active lifestyle. In light of recent reports, which highlight significant increases in obesity, I am delighted to see my department helping to contribute effectively in keeping thousands of young people on the Isle of Man fit and active.’

Paul Bridson, Sports Development Manager, said:

‘These figures demonstrate great progress in attracting new children into sport and increasing children’s participation rates in physical activity across the Island. In addition to the numerous sporting benefits that these thousands of children will have gained, the benefits to their health, confidence, self esteem and social well being are enormous. The key to much of our work now is to ensure that many of these children are retained in sport through the Manx Youth Games and, or many of the junior sports clubs around the Island. I would like to personally thank Heritage Homes, who continue to provide Manx Sport and Recreation with essential finance that enables the Team to put on such wide and varied sports programmes across the Island.’

As part of the Sports Development Unit’s ongoing aim at continuous improvement, many of the children that attended were asked to complete a feedback form at the end of each session they attended.

Aaron Quinn, Sports Development Officer, said:

‘The results have been excellent – 99% of the children that have attended have really enjoyed themselves, with 86% stating that they have learned new skills by attending one of our activities. In addition 96% of the children suggested they would be keen to try another sport. This is excellent evidence, which proves we are providing an effective service to the young people of the Isle of Man, which we will now build on to meet our long term aims and targets.’

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