Exciting Times for Youth Sport in Alderney
The Alderney Sports Foundation has launched an ambitious five year Action Plan for children and young people.
‘Giving Alderney a Sporting Chance’ is a partnership between the Foundation and St Anne’s School with support from the Guernsey Sports Commission.
‘Alderney is a wonderfully unique community where our young people can grow up in a safe and beautiful environment. However, a small island has its challenges and we must ensure that those same young people have equal opportunities as children elsewhere,’ said Simon Brazier, Chairman of Trustees for the Alderney Sports Foundation.
‘The Foundation was established to improve participation in sport and we know that sport provides young people with so many different opportunities and life skills.
‘We are proud that in a short space of time youth sport in Alderney is moving forward. Our partnership with St Anne’s School and the Guernsey Sports Commission is creating a structure that will lead to a sustainable platform for youth sporting provision,’ said Simon.
One of the challenges facing Alderney is the lack of facilities such as a swimming pool and sports hall on the island.
‘These are facilities that all children should have access to, and Alderney stands as a stark anomaly in this regard,’ said Simon.
‘Political will and coordination are clearly required, and the Alderney Sports Foundation will attempt to work constructively with all relevant parties.’
The headteacher of St Anne’s School, Martin Winward, has been closely involved in the development of the Plan.
‘The challenge remains the same and has done for many years; a parity of resources matched to peers in the Bailiwick, equal access to competitions, and physical resources based close to the school,’ said Martin.
‘The priority is for an indoor swimming pool and a sports hall to provide access for all. Alderney’s children deserve the opportunity to enjoy these basic facilities for personal growth, well-being and development.’
The Action Plan’s eight key workstreams mirror those of the Guernsey Sports Commission’s own plan launched in late 2019 and signal closer working between the two islands.
‘The Guernsey Sports Commission has seen at close hand the fantastic work that the Alderney Sports Foundation has been doing since it was established,’ said Jeremy Frith, the GSC’s Performance Director.
‘The partnership that we have developed alongside both St Anne’s School and the Foundation is one that we are incredibly proud of, and one that we are confident will benefit Alderney’s young people considerably in years to come.’
The Plan clearly sets out where the Alderney Sports Foundation wants to get to and the actions needed to achieve these objectives. A number of local sporting and community organisations have been consulted during the development of the Plan and have signed up to commit to its delivery.
As well as improving facilities, the Plan aims to make sport in Alderney more inclusive, further develop coaching, establish clear performance pathways in sport, attract more funding and support sporting organisations to be effectively led, run safely and financially sound.
‘We know these are ambitious aims but by working together as a whole community we believe we can succeed,’ said Simon.
‘We have already had some excellent feedback on our plan and pledges of support from all parts of the community which we hope to add to over time. We don’t want this plan just to exist on paper; we are determined to take action and deliver on our promises for the benefit of all of Alderney’s children and young people.
‘We remain indebted to all those individuals who commit their time to giving our children and young people on Alderney a sporting chance.’