Over 300 young people have passed through the PETA scheme since the programme was established. The annual cohort always represent the diverse population of Tower Hamlets and female PETAs actually outnumber male PETAs, which opposes the usual borough participation trends.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 13.30.23The Youth Sport Trust consistently asks THYSF to support other regions of the UK in engaging ethnic minorities and females in Sports Leadership, testifying to the effectiveness of our youth engagement. Our PETAs interests span a wide range of academic ambitions and potential; some of our best young leaders have come onto the programme from NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), while others have used their experiences to support applications to some of the UK’s top Universities.

PETAs (Physical Education Teaching Assistants) are Sports Ambassadors aged 16+ who undertake the Community Sports Leader Level 2 (CSLA 2) Award at one of our approved Sports Leader Assessment Centres. THYSF  runs a minimum of two CSLA 2 Awards each year, usually at Langdon Park School.

Candidates for these courses are not exclusively drawn from graduates of the Sports Ambassador Programme. The courses attract young people from Tower Hamlets’ Sports Clubs, young people who schooled outside of the borough but have joined a Tower Hamlets sixth form college, young people who missed out on being a Sports Ambassador or those who developed an appetite for coaching and leadership a little later on.

THYSF works hard to engage with other leadership programmes and are proud that three former Young Mayors of Tower Hamlets and a whole host of Deputy Young Mayors have completed the CSLA 2 Awards with us.

The young people who successfully complete the award have to commit back ten hours of volunteering as a form of repayment. This is usually done through the Stepping Stones Programme during school holidays, although not exclusively. On completion of these hours, the young people officially become PETAs and are then eligible for paid work in schools or in running Mini-Clubs on local community ball courts.

THYSF supports active PETAs in their roles via regular meetings and mentoring through our Coaching and Leadership Manager. They are also able to access a range of official sports-specific qualifications and soft skill workshops which support their all-round development.

There is no upper age limit to the scheme and many young people stay actively involved in the programme into their mid-twenties. The work can compliment and be moulded around studies and part-time work and the experiences are rewarding. The social interaction between PETAs is also an important part of the scheme which boosts confidence and communication skills, and there are a number of social events which occur throughout the year.