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- 14 April 2014 00:00
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Sport England has revealed that over 2,000 satellite clubs have been set up within one year of the initiative being launched; just five months after they passed the 1,000 club mark.
Satellite clubs are outposts of local sports clubs that deliver sports programmes and activities in schools and colleges.
They aim to address the drop off that sees many young people stop playing sport when they leave school by bringing community sports clubs into a more familiar environment for young people.
"Reaching this milestone only five months after hitting the 1,000 club mark is testament to the demand for a new approach to helping young people transition from school sport into club sport,” said Sport England’s Director of Community Sport Mike Diaper.
"We are confident that we will achieve our goal of establishing 5,000 new clubs by 2017, making it easier for young people to get into and stay with sport.”
Among the 2,000 satellite clubs to be set up is Bournville Bears Basketball Club at Shenley Academy in Birmingham.
Established by Birmingham Sport and Physical Activity Partnership and England Basketball, the satellite club runs in the Academy on Friday evenings with female only and male only sessions.
It has already attracted 30 new players between the ages of 13 and 19 from Weoley Castle, Bartley Green and the surrounding areas of Birmingham.
"Bournville Bears Basketball Club has worked hard to create their satellite club, developing excellent links with the school and the wider community,” said Birmingham Sport & Physical Activity Partnership Club Links Officer Heather Cowan.
"In particular they have succeeded in engaging girls in the sport.
"The girls are enjoying the training and coaching sessions and have started to play informal games against other satellite clubs in the city.”
Sport England is investing £49 million of National Lottery funding into the development of satellite clubs.
Working in partnership with sport governing bodies and county sport partnerships (CSP), Sport England are aiming to use the funding to open 5,000 satellite clubs by 2017.