Rugby League project breaks the cycle of youth offending

Your Sporting Chance, a Keighley based social enterprise that uses rugby league as a tool to break the cycle of youth offending, is launching a new project – ‘Winners 2!’ – following a £16,000 grant from the UK’s largest Sport for Development charity, Sported.

Your Sporting Chance specialise in engaging difficult and challenging young people. All participants of its programme are at a high risk of, or already are, undertaking anti-social behaviour and low level crime. The aim is through providing early, non-time limited intervention, the project can break the cycle of repeat offending and keep such young people out of prison.

Uniquely, Your Sporting Chance uses the power of sport and the profile of youth workers and rugby league professionals (Cougars’ duo Brendon Rawlins and James ‘Buster’ Feather) to engage vulnerable young people in the Keighley area.

Rawlins has worked for Your Sporting Chance for almost five years, and he finds the job very rewarding.

“I wouldn’t say I enjoy it as much as playing, but it comes very close.

“I love working with the kids and sharing my experiences.

“If you have a kid that hasn’t been to school for a year, but then help them get back on the right track, it’s a special feeling.”

It was the past success of a six-week joint project between the West Yorkshire Police, Incommunities and Your Sporting Chance that led to the £16,000 grant from Sported to fund the continuation of the programme for another two-years through its ‘Winners 2!’ project.

Sported (www.sported.org.uk) is a UK-wide charity which provides funding and business support to community groups which use sport to change the lives of disadvantaged young people. As part of the charity’s goal to develop the capacity and sustainability of community sport groups around the UK, it provides free volunteer business mentors to help its members overcome their challenges, learn new skills and become better equipped for the future.

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