Activ8 – A look back at 2016 and what it meant for us

The ‘Activ8’ programme was piloted in 2015 by Youth Work Ireland Tipperary. It was a way to encourage young people to be active and engaged over their summer holidays. Youth workers and young people had noticed that there were lots of camps on offer for those in primary school. However, during the holidays there wasn’t much for those of second level age. To remedy this, we came up with ‘Activ8’. The programme offers young people a wide array of fun and active opportunities. They can pick and choose the activities that appeal to them. The aim of the programme is for the young people to complete 8 activities over 8 weeks.

Activ8 - Bubble SoccerYoung people’s participation is tracked through the stamping of their ‘Activ8’ cards. Those who complete a full 8 activities are included in a raffle at the end of the summer. The chance to win prizes like an iPad, Bluetooth speakers or clothes vouchers keep young people motivated to keep going on the laziest of summer days! Our first summer of ‘Activ8’ was a great success and amazing fun. Activities ranged from kayaking and hiking to go-kart racing, with a bit of bubble-soccer and a trip to the National Aquatic Centre thrown in for good measure!

 

The programme was further strengthened in 2016 when the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund gave financial support to the programme with a grant of €25,000. This generous grant has meant that ‘Activ8’ was also rolled out during the autumn/winter months. It has been offered to the rural youth clubs as well as in our 4 main town centres.

Activ8 - Skateboarding & BMXDuring this year’s ‘Activ8’ programmes, young people have had the chance to build skills in kick-boxing, skateboarding, swimming, yoga and pilates to name but a few! The programme has meant a lot to the organisation, both for staff and young people. For youth workers, it gives us a framework to engage young people during the summer. It is a way to encourage participation in a flexible and person-centered manner. For young people, it provides opportunities to try out new activities with support from youth workers they know and trust. It can introduce them to local amenities that they have never accessed before. It can give them a taste of a hobby that they may stay involved in and it rewards them for being active and getting out there! We hope to continue the programme in 2017 and beyond!