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Urban Sport

Urban Sport is the concept of maximising an urban environment to allow people to be physically active, whether that is a fitness session in a green space, skateboarding in an empty car park or simply throwing a ball around outside a block of flats. 

At London Sport, developing localised, place-based approaches to sport and physical activity is one of our priority areas.

Our Urban Sport Project began in 2019 and works across North-West London to increase access to local physical activity opportunities for young people under the age of 25. 

It is designed to encourage young people to get more active in their local urban area, the project can offer support, funding and facilitation for a range of different activities.

The approach is designed to be collaborative: we are seeking local partners with access to young people that could benefit from our support. Once suitable groups are identified, we work with the young people to co-create activities that fit their needs, local area and interests.

The ultimate goal is long-term participation, so we are keen to offer leadership training and support the funding of equipment and resources to enable this to happen.

Where: Kensington & Chelsea, Who: Ages 12-14

Following consultation linked to Met Police Youth Engagement football sessions in the Golborne area, interest in a parkour taster was identified. 

Following this session, weekly sessions were established. The first 15 weeks were coach led, giving the young people the skills to lead the second 15 weeks and beyond with minimal supervision.

Somali Bravanese Welfare Association Young Leaders

Where: Barnet, Who: Ages 16-18

Young people from the SBWA group undertook a day of training in urban sport delivery facilitated by London Sport. 

This gave them the leadership skills and knowledge required to go on and deliver their own sessions for other young people at their youth group going forward.

At Active London 2020, London Sport’s annual conference, The Active Urbanist (Matt Roebuck) led a session looking at Urban and New Sports. 

Matt was joined by Katie Moggan (The Golf Foundation), Dan Feist (Essex Cricket) and Juan Lopez (Steel Warriors) for a workshop looking at the future possibilities for urban sport.

Urban Sport Updates

BLOG: London Urban Sport Group member Marco Boi, Founder and CEO of Playinnovation, discusses why active play within schools and urban spaces is so important for children’s development and integrating outdoor learning. Read his full blog here.

BLOG: As Sky Brown becomes Team GB’s youngest summer Olympic medallist, London Sport catches up with GB freestyle snowboarder Katie Ormerod as she shares her thoughts on a new GB Snowsport project in central London teaching children how to skateboard and the possible path into snowboarding. Read our full Q&A here.

BLOG: James Gregory, Area Director – London & South East of StreetGames, a member of the London Urban Sport Group, explains why an asset-based approach is so important when working in disadvantaged and under-resourced communities and how urban sport is a key component of it. Read his full blog here.

BLOG: Urban Sport Officer Abby West looks ahead with 2021 set to be a big year for Urban Sport in London and Tokyo. Abby also investigates the growth in interest sparked by the restrictions due to the covid-19 pandemic. Read her blog here.

INSIGHT: London Sport’s Active London conference looked at how physical activity can become a more equal space and allow more Londoners of every background to benefit from living active lives. As part of this, we looked at Urban Sport (see below).

NEWS: London Sport has joined up with StreetGames to provide free leadership training in North West London for young volunteers aged 16-25. The partnership aims to expand the diversity of sports volunteers and inspire young people to get their communities active whilst gaining the qualifications and skills to help deliver fun, inclusive sport. Read the full story.

BLOG: Relationship Manager Matt Roebuck has done extensive work with urban sports in recent years and, in this blog, explains why the sector must work with developers to ensure activity is front and centre of future plans for London.

BLOG: John Arthur, newly appointed Community Relationship Officer for Urban Sports, reflects on a London Sport Community of Practice event, looking at designing and developing grey spaces to encourage activity. Read more.