Communication news: Prince's Trust in bid to cash in on sport buzz

The Prince’s Trust is using Olympic fever and the start of the football season to stimulate interest in a campaign to get more young people playing sport.

The charity launched the initiative after discovering disadvantaged young people ranked having nothing to do as the issue that bothered them most.

In the trust’s biggest-ever youth consultation, 47 per cent of 14 to 25-year-olds cited a lack of facilities as their main grievance.

With the Olympics under way, the Premiership season kicking off and the West Indies test series reaching its climax, the trust is making the most of the summer sports frenzy by highlighting the value of physical activity to the socially excluded people it serves.

A report, No Ball Games? Getting young people back into education, employment and training, was launched last week and argues that if young people had more sporting opportunities they would exhibit less anti-social behaviour and develop skills such as team work.

The charity is hoping to pressure local authorities into providing more activities for young people. “With more than 1 million young people not in education, employment or training, we need to find new ways of engaging this group,” said Leslie Morphy, director of programmes at the trust. “Sport has an ability to inspire and motivate.”

Many charities are holding fire on their new campaigns until autumn, but trust press officer Rob Cope said the lure of so much sport in the media was irresistible.

“Sport is high on the agenda now,” he said. “It’s also the school holidays so people recognise that young people having nothing to do is an issue.”

In recent months, the charity has set up sports partnership schemes with cricket sponsors Natwest, rugby union sponsors Zurich and 62 professional football clubs to get young people into sport.

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