Over the past six months, Yvonne Stead, the Regional Development Officer for the Northern Counties, has been working in partnership with Active Lancashire and Together and Active Future (TaAF) to help support the delivery of archery as part of the Active Madrassah initiative, linked to Archery GB's Project Rimaya.
TaAF are working closely with Madrassah leaders to embed physical activity into the Madrassah settings with the aim to increase activity levels and overall wellbeing of children and young people.
Research has highlighted that long-term health conditions including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases is higher in Black, Asian and ethnic diverse communities. By informing, educating and encouraging children and young people to be more active, this will filter to their family members and the wider community, reducing health inequalities.
The current work covers the geographical areas of Blackburn and Preston, with Active Lancashire generously providing funding of £12,500 towards the cost of equipment for madrassah’s across both areas to help these sites deliver archery sessions which align with their religious teaching.
In Preston, we are working with Active Lancashire, TaAF, GLL (Leisure Operator) and Preston United, focusing our delivery on one site. This area of work was launched in July 2023 with a taster event for local mosques and madrassahs. It was supported by coaches from Bowmen of Pendle and Salmesbury and Wigan and Orrell Archers, who engaged over 180 individuals during the event.
In Blackburn, we have linked up with ten madrassahs and have recently trained 28 instructors (16 females and 12 males) to deliver archery. It is envisaged that these sessions will engage hundreds of children on a weekly basis, starting in October 2023. We are currently working towards a programme of training for staff of local mosques and madrassahs, and the next steps in delivery will focus on delivery at the leisure centre on a weekly basis.
To find out more about Project Rimaya and the work we're doing with Muslim communities, click on the link below: