WSA Sports Industry Awards 2023 Winner Feature: Ospreys in the Community Collaboration to support young people’s mental health 

WSA Sports Industry Awards 2023 Winner Feature: Ospreys in the Community Collaboration to support young people’s mental health 

In 2019, Welsh Sports Association (WSA) member Ospreys in the Community launched a collaborative project with Action for Children and Philtronics LTD to support young people’s mental wellbeing. Four years later, at the inaugural WSA Sports Industry Awards, the organisation was the recipient of the award for Best Collaboration Initiative.  

The project targets young people in primary and secondary schools, supporting children’s mental health.  

It has only been possible courtesy of the fundraising efforts between OITC & Philtronics LTD, which, prior to the 2023 WSA Sports Industry Awards last June, had raised over £40,000 from running corporate sleepouts, online gaming competitions and regular match day bucket collections.  

As a result, nearly 3,000 young people across south Wales had been supported prior to last June with three incredible programmes: 

  • Bouncing Back – Supporting Secondary school pupils with coping strategies, self-confidence, resilience and encouraging peer to peer support whilst promoting physical activity to support wellbeing.  
  • On Target – Targeted intervention for those who are struggling most within secondary schools, an awardwinning programme, which has been a huge support coming out of the pandemic. 
  • Bouncing Back+ – An innovative primary based programme again promoting the benefits of physical 

The programme has had a huge impact on the local community, and particularly schools,” commented OITC Head of Community Tom Sloane. “Off the back of the pandemic we were seeing an increase in anxiety and young people not wanting to engage in things they had done previously. 

This programme really looks to get young people talking about positive wellbeing and mental health, understanding that it’s okay to not be okay and how, who and when to ask for help. 

“The connection to physical activity is important to us,” Tom continued, “as we believe mental and physical health are just as important as each other, and we have the ability to look after both. 

“We also want to show the young people that exercise can play a huge part in your energy levels through school and learning, helping us focus.” 

Leading up to last June’s awards ceremony, OITC had impressive figures to demonstrate the impact of their collaborative programme.  

Of the children that had come into contact with the project, over 90% felt more confident to talk about mental health, whilst over 80% had seen an increase in self-esteem and confidence. 

The initiative also helped more than 80% with their relationships in and outside of school, and 95% were more equipped to deal with stress. 

Ospreys in the Community deservedly picked up the award for Best Collaboration Initiative at the 2023 WSA Sports Industry Awards as a result. 

“As an organisation,” stated Tom, “we know that we have some fantastic projects and programmes, but to have this award really shows the power of collaboration and what we can achieve together. For the other organisations, it also shows the impact they are making in their local community. 

“We are very proud to have this, our first ever Award!” 

And the programme continues to affect the lives of young people in communities in south Wales. 

“We have furthered conversations with expanding the collaboration network to reach more and become more sustainable,” Tom told us. 

Since the beginning of the programme, they have worked with 56 primary schools and 98 groups of children. 

Updated figures show that 98% of children have said they feel more confident since completing the programme, while 94% rated the initiative at least four out of five stars. 

97% of children surveyed also said their ability to cope with stress has increased since completing the programme, while the same number say that the Ospreys sessions had a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing. 

Check out all you need to know about the WSA Sports Industry Awards 2024, included a full list of nominees, here!

And don’t forget to shout about the event using #WSASIA2024 on socials!

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