NPT and Newry teens join together for ‘Try Sports’ initiative

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Monday, April 29th, 2013
Newry Neighbourhood Policing Team recently brought youths from across Newry together to Try Sports. Try Sports is an initiative developed by Constable Gemma Burns and Constable Mark Scott, Newry NPT, to alleviate antisocial behaviour and develop relationships with young people in the local area. Constable Burns explained, “We are constantly thinking of new ways to engage with young people in our community so that they have a voice in relation to policing issues and find out how we can help and support them as they face tough decisions and situations in their life. “Many young people we spoke to, through the course of our work in local youth clubs, schools, care homes and community organisations, expressed an interest in sport, particularly in sports they hadn’t tried before. “Sport is something which crosses all divides and I thought it was the perfect way to bring together young people from different backgrounds and combine healthy activities with education.” The cross community initiative was delivered to young people over the course of ten weeks and culminated in a finale of different sport activities. During the ten weeks teenagers, aged between 13 and 18 years old, took part in presentations and discussion on drugs/alcohol misuse, road safety, personal safety, antisocial behaviour and cyber safety with Constables Burns and Scott. The participants also took part in wristband and slogan design, pizza and peelers nights and quiz nights. The final event gave the teenagers the opportunity to try a range of different sports including rugby, hockey, camogie and gaelic football. Constable Scott said, “The whole project was well received and enjoyed by all of the young people who participated fully in all of the workshops throughout the ten weeks. “The sports event was a fantastic finale and many of the teenagers commented on how good it was to try sports which were often perceived as belonging to a different community. “We are hopeful that Try Sports has helped to break down some of the barriers between young people from different communities in Newry and has also encouraged them to engage more with police and make use of the support and advice that we can provide.” Newry NPT was supported by Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Ulster Rugby, Irish Football Association. The initiative was funded by Policing with the Community.
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