Team GB hockey star and London 2012 bronze medallist, Hannah MacLeod, [Friday 15 March] joined 23 young people at Bishop Challoner Catholic College in Birmingham for the first session of a pioneering multi-sport project, ‘fusion x’, which aims at getting more young people playing sport.

Part of Sport England’s Satellite Clubs programme, the project is a new approach to delivering satellite clubs with table tennis, lacrosse, basketball, hockey and golf working together to create a multi-sport community club at the school.

Delivered in partnership with local sports clubs, who help provide coaching and equipment, ‘fusion x’ offers 14- to- 16-year-olds from across the local community the chance to take part in a range of sports.  They are then helped to make the step into regular participation by joining up with one of the local clubs involved in delivery.

With £6,500 of National Lottery funding from Sport England to establish the club, the five sport governing bodies have worked together to create a new sporting offer for young people.  Following the completion of the pilot, it’s hoped the multi-sport model can be replicated across the country.

Jason Sorrell, Regional Development Officer for the Golf Foundation in the West Midlands, who has played a leading role in helping to set up and coordinate the project, said: “Sport England were encouraging and supportive from the start and representatives from all five sports have embraced this project. England Hockey, England Basketball, English Lacrosse and the English Table Tennis Association all deserve great credit. This has been very much a joint effort from the word go.”

The Satellite Clubs programme is one of the key initiatives within Sport England’s five-year Youth and Community strategy.  The programme aims to get more 14- to- 25-year-olds active by making it easier for them to stay in sport or start playing sport by establishing school-based sports clubs with links to community clubs.  By 2017, every secondary school in England will have been offered a community sports club on its site.

Sport England Director of Community Sport, Mike Diaper, said: “It is great to see five sports working together with Bishop Challoner Catholic College to create a brand new multi-sport Satellite Club where young people can come and try out a range of sports under one roof.  Our Satellite Clubs programme is all about creating new and appealing opportunities to help young people make the step into community sport and set them on the path to creating a sporting habit for life.”

Joining in with the sessions Hannah, one of Sport England’s ‘Sporting Champions’ shared the secrets of her success in sport with those taking part.  She said: “Since the Olympic Games in London, I’ve been involved in inspiring young people to get active and play more sport. I believe the key to keeping young people active is to get them enjoying sports in their local clubs. Taking the first step to joining a club or giving a new sport a try can be daunting. This initiative provides a choice of sports to try out with your friends and is a great way to make that first step towards gaining from the benefits of leading an active lifestyle. I’d never even seen lacrosse played until this evening and I loved it!”

Sessions run at Bishop Challoner Catholic College, Kings Heath, Birmingham every Friday from 4:30-6:30pm. For more information contact Bishop Challoner Sports Centre on 0121 441 6100.

Read more about Satellite clubs here.