Young people in Bucks and the South East developed important life skills, did better in school and felt a greater sense of wellbeing through sport and play, new research shows.

The Youth Sport Trust (YST) has today revealed through its annual Impact report that it helped 2,596 young people in the South East, 193 of these from Buckinghamshire, benefit from training and opportunities to participate in high quality, inclusive sport and play last year.

Evaluation of the children’s charity’s work across its programmes in 2018/19 shows sport and play has helped young people to become more confident, empathetic and resilient.

The charity, which was founded in 1995, aims to pioneer new ways of using sport to improve children’s wellbeing and give them a brighter future.

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The YST 2019 Impact report published today includes evidence that through the power of sport and play, YST’s projects and programmes are:

- Increasing young people’s health and wellbeing, 95% of the young people supported in YST’s trailblazing Active in Mind programme said that they were more aware of the value of physical activity in promoting and maintaining good mental health.

- Increasing young people’s confidence, 77% of young people reported their confidence had been improved.

- Supporting young people to be more resilient, 80% of young people reported they felt more resilient.

- Improving attainment, attendance and behaviour in school, 77% of teachers said they had seen a positive benefit in attainment, attendance or the behaviour of pupils because of the support of YST.

Ali Oliver, Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive, said: “The Youth Sport Trust is built on a passionate belief in the power of sport to impact positively on young lives and empower young people to tackle life’s big challenges.

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“The world young people are growing up in has changed considerably since we were founded in 1995. As our charity enters its 25th year, I firmly believe play, sport and Physical Education are more important today than at any time in our history: increasingly sedentary lifestyles, the digital age and an increasingly turbulent world are contributing to a wellbeing crisis for this generation.

“The impact we have been able to achieve on young people’s lives in 2018/19, working in partnership with a range of complementary organisations and funders reaffirms our long held belief that when delivered in the right way, sport can equip young people with the skills to succeed, contribute to their overall health and happiness and empower them to become leaders of tomorrow.”

To read the full 2019 YST Impact Report click here.