It’s been a fantastic year for OCRA’s Sport Development role, providing that essential support and glue that brings things together and makes them happen. We have had a great impact on local people’s access to services, facilities, events and activities that improve health outcomes and promote healthy lifestyles. Quest accreditation recognised our joint development plan structure and our positive impact on Community Outcomes at both centres as “excellent”.
We have delivered positive activity to 2500 people and through our support of clubs agencies, instructors, coaches have had a positive impact on 100’s more. We have delivered over 60 different initiatives, training and events.
We have supported and worked with 55 local clubs and groups, 26 schools, 8 NGB’s, 8 Health Bodies & groups, 8 Councils, 4 Disability groups and 8 Community Agencies. This joined up working benefits the impact and sustainability of local activity.
We have worked with all ages from our work with Active Mums and their babies, plus mini gymnastics to Seated Exercise for those with limited movement and low level walks through Walking for Health in Tavistock and Okehampton. The aim to engage people in a lifetime of activity and the many physical and social benefits that come from that.
Hosting the SW Youth Games in Okehampton alongside working with clubs to assemble Team West Devon was a highlight. The area’s best entry of over 180 participants across 16 different sports engaging all abilities and ages. The day highlighted the excellent partnership and superb sporting campus we can offer events collectively in Okehampton.
The Centre has just recently hosted Pony Club Triathlon which used the whole site, Devon Judo and SW Fencing events. This along with runs of different distances, Cycle Sportive adds to our drive to attract events to the area and the positive knock on impact on the local economy and identity. We have also delivered the Sports & Fitness Festival which has over 40 different events for all ages and abilities (including Special Needs specific), adding sport, arts and signposting to activity at local events, fetes and shows.
Parklands and Meadowlands host West Devon and local schools events including Netball, Sportshall Athletics, X Country’s, Swimming Galas, Triathlon, Tennis, Dance & Gymnastics & Multiskills Festivals “ Building Fundamental skills and confidence.”
This year to support clubs, coaches, volunteers and groups we have run and also promoted third-party First Aid and Safeguarding Courses. We have worked with the RFU on player development and concussion workshops for parents, as well as organised local Cricket, Handball, High 5 Netball short courses with NGB’s. We have also held sports forums with advice and support on promotion, funding opportunities, developing school club links, training and club development
Some of the ways we support clubs are highlighted in this quote. Martin Exley Deane says:
“Tavy Joggers runs a ‘couch to 5k’ programme for all comers as a way of promoting health and wellbeing. In the last year over 100 local people have completed the Saturday morning courses. Mostly these people are in the over 50 age bracket and often over weight. OCRA has supported the athletic club training coaches to lead the courses, with first aid courses and helping to promote the courses”
This year, this also allowed the club to run a short course from Meadowlands aimed at Mums.
This is part of our drive of an identity at Meadowlands as more than a swimming pool. This links with developments and new dry side options that will be available on completion in the summer.
In line with the Public Health England profile for West Devon, we have started a pilot scheme “Active Ageing” working with the local doctors surgery, social care team and physiotherapy department. The key aim of this is to signpost people over 50 years of age to the wide range of local activities and centre offers. Great outcomes already saw the social care team taking people to seated exercise sessions, breaking down those initial barriers for people trying something new. We aim to prove the need and find funding for a local “social subscribing role and service” and roll out in Tavistock once full refurbishment and staff training complete.
Junior Gym sessions at Parklands also show how the partnership has been effective in finding the right local instructor and driving promotion. The two weekly after-College sessions are now full with a desire for another session, possibly Spinning.
OCRA with Fusion offer a diverse community Sportshall programme at Parklands that includes term time Basketball, Family and Adult Badminton, Fencing, Youth Multi- Sportsnight, Volleyball, Mini Football and Triathlon. An affordable multi activity holiday scheme delivered over 6000 individual hours of physical and creative activity in 2017.
We have just added two new recreation and one competition Trampolining sessions at Parklands. This has been possible due to the success with a Sport England Small grant for £10k of equipment and local support of £1,500.
Leading on the LTA initiative of Park Tennis over the year, we will go live around Easter to encourage casual and family play. Along with the Team West Devon Youth Games funding this amounts to £19,000 of funding benefit to the area. Progressions from this has just seen the Trampoline club return with medals from South West competitions.
FANS and elite development is going well with participants also contributing to community events and initiatives.
Skateboarder Adam Keats writes positively about what this support means after returning from top European events
“It has been amazing having access to the gym so that when I arrive back home I can bring the hype back with me and train harder than I ever used to. Getting up to swim every morning has helped me focus on moving forward and taking care of my body as skateboarding can seriously take its toll!”
We have also linked centre managers to local clubs, coaches, instructors and NGB initiatives. We have got them involved in area school PE meetings to develop swimming offers, build relationships, develop users and promote local schemes. We promote offers and facilities widely. The ‘in partnership’ logo appears on posters, fliers, certificates, media, T-shirts and Flags. It should also be noted that there is also good knock-on benefits to centres’ second spend through events, promotion and OCRA usage.
Looking ahead, we aim to maximize on opportunities to develop activities and facility usage.
It has been a fantastic year with “excellent” outcomes for individuals of all ages and abilities, clubs, coaches, council’s, centres, agencies and to community life. We met recently with Centre Managers to plan collectively for the year ahead and look forward to continue to develop the partnership. It’s been good working with Clare and the passionate people at Fusion.
Stuart Lord – OCRA Manager