Stichting Life Goals is soaring to success.
Stichting Life Goals is doing well. The goal of the organisation is ambitious: offering people who are stuck in life new opportunities through sports activities. With a decentralized strategy Life Goals is rapidly getting closer to this goal.
Thanks to the support of the Foundation a new strategy has been developed and the goals of the organisation are made more specific. In four new cities new projects have been started and the number of participants grew from 900 to 2000 in the past nine months.
We asked Wessel Schaling, national coordinator, to comment on these successes.
How would you explain the rapid growth in the number of participants of your programs?
We succeeded in getting in contact with a lot of sports service organizations and they wanted to support our programs. We don’t do all this work ourselves and the decentralized approach is paying out.
What are the effects of the programs on the participants?
People feel more confident. Every three months we monitor the progress of the participants with our Life Goals Monitor. This summer we saw an increase in emotional stability and social skills for a lot of participants. Some of them even grow beyond the standard: they become coach or coordinator within one of our programs.
In the Netherlands already a lot of sports programs and projects for vulnerable people exist. What is the added value of Stichting Life Goals?
The landscape in this area is way too scattered. In Amsterdam some sport activities are attended by only five people. Some organizations organize similar projects but do not collaborate. What we do is that we appoint a coordinator that sorts out what is offered and brings different parties together. The result is that those activities are often attended by 20 to 30 people. Not only in Amsterdam but in many locations in the Netherlands.
Is the practice of sports a guarantee that people actually make that next step in life?
No, practicing sports is just the first step. If you want participants to achieve their goals in real life, then that needs to be adressed separately. This is why we have developed our workshops. We talk with the participants about qualities like respect, stamina and confidence. Those ‘Life Goals’ sessions work really well.
What do you expect of the coaches that execute the programs?
A coach needs to have a lot of faith in the qualities of the people. That is important because the participants need a good sportive moment and therefore it is important they do not feel ‘vulnerable’ or as ‘a client’.
What does the future of Stichting Life Goals look like?
It looks very positve. We wanted to grow this year with eight new projects and so we did. Furthermore we want to become THE national platform for sports for vulnerable people.