Launched in October 2009 the Link2bActive programme was developed by South Dublin Sports Partnership (SDSP) to create an opportunity for unemployed people to access sports facilities at a reduced rate, encouraging them to participate in recreational activities. With increasingly high rates of employment SDSP looked to link unemployed people with the local facilities such as gyms, leisure centres, all weather pitches, pitch & putt clubs and other facilities where, pressure was on from people dropping off due to economic constraints.
Local sports providers and facilities were requested to come up with an offer, complete with terms and conditions, for the use of their facilities by unemployed people. SDSP developed a page on its website (www.sdcsp.ie/link2bactive) with all the links to the participating facilities. The partnership also developed promotional flyers, distributed through social welfare offices, GP services, community centres, libraries and more in the county to inform unemployed people about the programme. SDSP have already commenced evaluation of the programme. To date they have already collected evidence that an example of one partner involved in this programme, Westpark Fitness, now has 518 members on the programme with a 90% retention rate.
Given it's success to date the ISC has provided funding for six more partnerships to develop this programme in their area for 2010. This includes Meath, Sligo, Mayo, Limerick County, Waterford and Monaghan. All the LSPs all rolling out this programme in 2010 and a number are also developing supporting programmes, including Monaghan LSP.
Monaghan LSP proposes to expand on the existing Link2bActive by increasing opportunities for people who are unemployed to become sports leaders through a series of training courses to enhance their skills and create an opportunity for them to seek part-time / full time employment. This programme will also integrate a voluntary commitment from participants to deliver sports training with community groups, focusing on the youth, older adult and disability sectors.
This Link 2b Active training programme will result in 20 people trained adequately to deliver basic sports activities and will allow them the opportunity to deliver continued programmes on behalf on the LSP or other groups. It will give them the basic training required to approach sports bodies with a view to undertaking coaching in a paid or voluntary capacity. A series of sports activities delivered by trained personnel on a voluntary capacity over a ten week period will create 300 hours of tutor time delivered free of charge.