Cornish Girl Kitty Odle named Regional Sportivate Winner
Kitty Odle has been named as the South West Sportivate Participant of the Year in recognition of her outstanding commitment to sport. Sportivate, a Sport England funded programme, encourages young people who are not particularly sporty to get active.
Having never played sport before, Kitty completed introductory coaching sessions in Equestrian, and is now taking part regularly, having joined the local club Polmartin Riding School. Before attending the sessions with Polmartin Riding School, Kitty struggled with behaviour and studies at school, she arrived at the Sportivate sessions shy and unfit with no riding experience. Kitty attended every session, became more confident and her ability and attitude at school noticeably improved. Her riding ability and fitness has significantly improved and she continues to regularly ride at Polmartin. Kitty also volunteers to help during holidays and weekends. Kitty willingly leads children out on rides, often several times a day, which means walking many miles a day. Kitty has undertaken further BHS training such as Riding and Road Safety and has become more confident in the group environment, both in and out of the school.
Sportivate gives 11 - 25 year olds who are not participating in sport in their own time access to six-to-eight weeks of free or subsidised coaching in a range of sports. Once the coaching sessions are completed, the participants are
matched up with a local club or venue where they can continue to play.
Participant Kitty said: "Polmartin has helped me overcome my shyness. I now answer questions in class and talk to people I don't know. Jane has helped me at the sessions and I feel happier in myself. I'm really honoured to have been named South West Participant of the Year."
Mike Thomas, Director for Cornwall Sports Partnership said: "Sportivate is such an inspirational programme to get people active and it is great to see Kitty and Polmartin Riding School recognised for the hard work they have done. This has been a really successful project for us that demonstrates the power that sport can have to not only develop communities but also individuals. This regional success enables us to still celebrate the legacy of London 2012 here in Cornwall where we completed nearly 1,000 young people in sport and physical activity in year 5. To hear how successful it has been to have a positive impact of Kitty's life truly demonstrates how much this programme is working".
Director of Community Sport at Sport England, Mike Diaper, said: "Congratulations to Kitty on this deserving win. Sportivate is all about encouraging and supporting young people who may have thought sport wasn't for them. It takes real determination and courage to try something new and Kitty can be very proud that his /her hard work has paid off."
Kitty is one of over 780,000 young people who have attended Sportivate sessions with more than 650,000 completing their coaching sessions.
Sportivate is being delivered by the network of 44 county sports partnerships, working with local clubs and providers. It is a National Lottery funded Olympic legacy programme which benefits hundreds of thousands of young people.