Yorkshire Sport Foundation has teamed up with one of the UK’s biggest charity partnerships to promote their Mums’ Team project which aims to get more women in West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire involved in physical activity and sports leadership.
Mums’ Team sees women apply for a range of free leadership courses to equip them with the skills and knowledge to lead groups of friends and the local community in physical activity, or to support their children’s sport sessions. Since January 2016, 70 women have received qualifications in sports including running and badminton. Fifteen women are district mentors working with the aspiring leaders and coaches.
The mentors have helped improve the mums’ confidence so they could start helping their friends and families get more active. Mentors are encouraging more women like Yasmin Hassan to get involved with the initiative and share their passion, perseverance and motivation for being a sport leader.
The year-long partnership with the National Charity Partnership- a collaboration between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco, aims to increase the number of mentors to 30 and help an additional 55 women gain coaching qualifications. This will lead to 550 sport and physical activity sessions for 2,700 participants.
Yasmin from Batley was looking for something to get involved with after her son started school, and like many women was struggling to find something suitable before hearing about Mums’ Team. The idea of mums getting involved together attracted her to the group. She felt that participating with other women could help reduce the feelings of isolation.
Yasmin explains: “My son was due to start school and it was the right time for me to find something to get involved in. I already had an interest in keeping fit and helping others stay active and the name of the project inspired me to get involved. I liked the idea of being active with other women and with other mums. Before Mums’ Team there wasn’t really anything else for Asian women to get involved with. A number of us wanted to play and get involved in sport and physical activity but we had nowhere to go.
“Mums’ Team sounded like a great way to get involved and be a part of something that would bring mums and women together.
“Through Mums’ Team I have been involved in lots of different activities and sports that I would never have tried before. But because they were really informal and there were a few of us doing it together there wasn’t any pressure and it didn’t matter that I didn’t know all the rules.
As part of the team Yasmin now feels more active and believes she is better at encouraging others to be active which is a main aim of the partnership between the National Charity Partnership and Yorkshire Sport Foundation.
Yasmin concludes: “I’ve become more active thanks to Mums’ Team and better at encouraging others to be active. I won’t stop until my mum comes to the group! I’m also encouraging my daughter and her friends to take part. It’s important to share the message that it only takes one person to start something. My daughter and her friends joined in with us for some rounders and now they are asking for netball sessions; it’s great to see it growing.”
Nigel Harrison, CEO of Yorkshire Sport Foundation, commented: “It’s great the Mums’ Team project will be able to continue and we thank the National Charity Partnership for their support.
“There are simply not enough female coaches to give enough opportunities for more women to become active. The Mum’s Team project will help right that wrong.”
Alex Davis, Head of Prevention for the National Charity Partnership, said: “We all know that being active is good for us, but the demands of being a parent can make it hard for mothers to be as active as they may want to be. Mums’ Team is a great – and easy – way to help them get more regular exercise in a way that suits them.
“Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease affect millions of people, but are largely preventable. We know that being physically active can reduce the likelihood of people developing these conditions, so we are delighted to be working alongside Yorkshire Sport Foundation and we hope that Mums’ Team can help give women and their families in South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire the opportunity to look after their long-term health.”
Mums’ Team is funded by Yorkshire Sport Foundation and the National Charity Partnership.