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Activating your potential

The world of youth Motorsport, pg’s 3+4

Post - Olympic Fever

Keeping kids off the streets: The true power of boxing Duston U14’s Netball

Slam Dunk: Northampton Basketball means business @ActivateNN

What’s inside?

Northamptonshire Basketball Association Page 5

Northampton Netball, and New Futsal team Page 6

Rugby: the benefits of children and youth clubs Page 7

Inspiring a generation through the London 2012 games Page 8+9

Is Junior boxing a danger to young people?

Pg’s 10+11

(Clockwise: Josh, Katie, Kanem, Kayleigh, Joe)

Meet the Team: W elcome to Activate Magazine, a Northampton based sports magazine focusing on young people in the town. Here is the team behind the publication. Check out our exclusive article on the young 18 year old racing prodigy Jake Eidson, rated number one young driver in America. Read our feature about keeping kids off of the streets through boxing, and see how the London 2012 Olympic games have inspired a generation of youngsters...

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Jake Eidson, 18 year old racing prodigy

ast cars and children usually do not go together in a sentence. However, a rapid rise in the amount of youngsters watching and participating in Motorsport is starting to change opinion. By Josh Craib


any people worry about the cost of motorsport as even a child’s Karting engine can be priced at around £10,000, but there are some Karting tracks around the United Kingdom that enable children to go Karting at an affordable price. One of the best tracks for that in the country is Daytona track in Milton Keynes, famous for having famous people racing each other but is also open to juniors, and has deals for children to race. Although it is still very hard to find affordable motorsport in many places, with Daytona and Silverstone on the doorstep, children from this area are luckier than most in regards to having the opportunity to get into affordable racing. Team USA, the formula Ford team, has a nationwide scholarship scheme that gives sponsorship to the two best young American drivers from the previous year, and seven other American teams have one scholarship place each. These young drivers are flown around the world competing in top quality races in top quality cars and are paid for doing it. Jake Eidson, is the current number one ranked junior driver in the world, and the 18 year old is the Team USA’s first choice scholar. Speaking exclusively to Activate magazine Jake explained how he got into the sport and how youngsters this side of the

Atlantic can emulate him and become F1 or Indy 500 stars. “Primarily we all start from go – karts like I did, I started when I was 10 and done that for two or three years, and then went to the Skip Barber racing school in the U.S.A where they basically taught me to drive a racing car. In the States there is a really cool thing called Mazda road to Indy that gives young drivers from all background the chance to race from go-karts all the way up to Indy. U.S and Canada are the only nations that do it. Children just need to work hard and enjoy racing then they can take it seriously if they get sponsored or a scholarship like I did.” Indianapolis 500 is the Americans number one motorsport with the drivers getting paid millions a season and many of the drivers in that have climbed through the ranks from junior level. Formula 1, which is Britain’s favourite Motorsport, has had legends such as David Coulthard, Kimi Raikonen, Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher all being successful in junior Karting before F1. This shows that there is a natural progression and that the best young drivers have a genuine chance of making it to the big stage. However, now it seems that America is onestep ahead of the rest of the world in giving youngsters the chance to succeed in the world of Motorsport.


Silverstone University Technical College

Youngsters from Northamptonshire could learn a trade in motorsports at Silverstone Technical College

By Josh Craib



nder a new Government, backed initiative, Silverstone race circuit, a global motorsport iconic venue, has opened a University Technical College. Silverstone UTC is currently enrolling youngsters to join in 2014. Business Secretary Vince Cable has called it “Innovative and excellent” and many business and education experts are lauding the idea. Local teenagers from 14-19 who feel there qualities lie in skills or technical - based education rather that of the class room environment, will now be given the perfect platform to begin a career in the glamorous and lucrative world of motorsport. High performance engineering may sound like a course for scientists, however, this course is offered to children of all abilities so long as they are 14 or older. Learning about engineering at the home of British motorsport could well be the equivalent of an academic going to Oxbridge and this is an opportunity that many youngsters could thrive from. The beautifully designed and purpose built educational centre cost £10 million to build, and although 200 students entered the building for the first time in September, they were only year groups 10 and 12 so a new intake is needed for the next academic year. As well as High Performance Engineering, there is also a

Technical Events Management course at the college, which offers great opportunities also. Since getting approval from the Department of Education in 2011 work has been ongoing, although some of the college’s lessons have had to be taught at The University of Northampton as not all of the construction is yet complete. The University of Northampton has invested money in the project,

Community Basketball leaping through hoops for local youth’s

The Northampton Basketball Association take the word community seriously when it comes to sports By Katie Johnstone


or the last five years the Northampton Basketball Association have been working with a vision to bring people together to play the sport they love: Basketball. “The thing about sport is children do want to have competition but it has got to be accessible.” says Tony Stewart, Chairman and coach of Northamptonshire Basketball Association. He believes that encouraging youngsters to get involved in community sports helps to develop skills and get a sense of belonging as a community. Hosted by Northampton School for Boys on Saturdays, clubs across the county are given the opportunity for competition. With clubs in Duston, Weston Favell, Northampton Academy, Wellingborough and Kettering all teams get the chance to be scheduled play time at the day long tournament. Where juniors get the opportunity to play ball between the ages of 7-19. By keeping the games based at home rather than away, it allows the players to each get a chance to play around four games rather than just the one. This gives juniors more confidence for each game as they are given a new opportunity to drive for a win. “If you lose one game and then you go home, theres nothing you can do about it, but given the opportunity to Click HERE for an audio package with Northamptonshire Basketball Association

play 3 or 4 games and you see them improve every time they play a game as their confidence builds.” It also can eliminate pressure off the juniors as keeping games local allows the support of family and friends to cheer in the stands as they watch them play, sticking thoroughly to the community spirit the association strives for. The main goal for the association is to give each child the opportunity to play. Rather than having the standard five players on a court and substituting from ten squad members, the clubs give each child the opportunity to play at least once throughout the day. Giving around 70 children the chance to play a game. “We don’t exclude, it’s not about selecting the best players, thats the difference.” The clubs that play within this tournament do not exclude any juniors wishing to play, having a varied team with different ages, genders and players with disabilities. By sticking to a strong community vibe throughout and even if clubs are short of a player borrowing another member from a different squad to join their team on the day. “It is the way we wanted to set it up because we are all in the same boat and we all want to help each other and improve the club and increase members.” From the strong community spirt the Northampton Basketball Association provides for juniors helps to encourage more children to get involved in sports and makes joining a club assessable. Giving everyone a chance to play the sport and not preventing any child from getting involved in the sport.



Click HERE for netball video

By Kayleigh Baker


he rise in childhood obesity is trying to be pushed back down by the government as they encourage more hours of sport to be played in schools. The Duston School in Northampton are one school who actively encourage children to keep fit. Amongst the many after school sports sessions they hold is netball. The meets are for all ages ranging from primary school to seniors, with the primary school ages in particular aimed at both girls and boys. In order to keep children fit and healthy, they also need to have a balanced diet. Elaine Wright, the

netball coach during the sessions, is a big advocate for keeping the girls healthy. Under 14’s member Hannah, one of the team’s most enthusiastic players, said “it’s really fun, you get to work as a team and play games every other Sunday.” Team mate Zoe also explained: “I love playing netball because I get to see all my friends. It keeps me fit and healthy and it helps me to learn the skills that I haven’t had before.” For more information visit the team’s website at

The Only Way is Futsal

Students from the University of Northampton have teamed up with Northamptonshire FA to create a new Futsal team for young people

By Kanem Hutchinson new project is underway to see the set up of a new futsal club at the University of Northampton. The sport that originates from South America is a variation of traditional football and involves playing indoors on a smaller pitch. The ball used is of a much smaller size and with less bounce, allowing players to focus more on ball technique and creativity. Introduced to the university by Stuart Smith, Football Development Officer at Northamptonshire FA, the new club is aimed at university students but open to males as young as 16 years old. Training takes place every Monday 5.307pm at Moulton College and is led by University of Northampton sport development student Ryan Aston who dedicates around four hours a week of his time to the club. “The idea is to promote football over the age of 16 years old. At this age many teenagers decide to go to college, find jobs and have less time to keep active,” Smith says. Describing the sport as “a game in its own right,” one of Smith’s aims is to prepare the team for Northamptonshire’s Futsal league that is due to launch 17 January 2014. The league will involve 6 Northamptonshire teams including Kettering Futsal Club (a national futsal league) who will play against each other every Friday night. Part of the process for setting up this new club will include a friendly fixture between the University and Kettering Futsal Club (a national league futsal team). The match will be held on Friday 6 December at 7.30pm, Moulton College.



Click HERE for Futsal video


Futsal is increasingly becoming a popular sport and carries a number of benefits for its players. In one half of a game, if there are five fouls, every other foul after this is equivalent to one penalty for the other team. So in order to prevent the other team receiving these penalties, players are encouraged to work together and communicate. A typical futsal game last 40 minutes with two 20 minutes halves, so players are not required to stick around for no longer than an hour. The smaller teams allow players more touches of the ball and the indoor location means that matches are never determined by the weather. The only kit required are trainers!

Autumn Rugby Fever Rugby is a huge sport in Northamptonshire. This may come as no surprise to many, with a premiership side such as Northampton Saints dominating the world of sport within the town. Photo courtesy of Bob Letty

By Joe Frost


• The game of rugby is named after Rugby School where the game was originally created. • Rugby balls first started out as plum-shaped due to the shape of pigs’ bladders that they were made from.


outh rugby clubs are scattered across the county, and one such is the Northampton Old Scouts. As a club, they have been fully functional for over eighty years, offering youngsters, from the age of four to eighteen, the chance to play rugby. After which, many progress into semi professional, and professional leagues. Along with the Old Scouts, there is a strong rivalry within local club rugby: Northampton Casuals, and Old Northamptonian’s to name a few others. It seems that age old traditions of rugby are still present within local clubs and the values that the clubs work to achieve are still present. After attending an U16’s training session, it was refreshing to see such an enthusiasm still present. Although, one boy did wander off to check his Iphone during a line-out practise, to which the coach made him

Click on the rugby ball to listen to an interview with U16’s coach Chris Parr sprint up and down the length of the pitch. Too right. Even with an age of social media, video-games and high rates of obesity, none were present during this two hour session. A tough session at that. I know from personal experience that rugby sessions can be tough, but I never realised in my youth how bitter cold it can get at 6pm in mid November. Coach Chris Parrs managed to give a few words after the session (the package for which can be found at the bottom of this page) and despite the blistering cold, managed to give his opinions on how important it is for young people to get into sport from a young age. Rugby at this level as Chris says is also about friendships, and enjoying yourself through playing sports and keeping active.


Inspire a generation, In



ot since seeing the film Robin Hood have children been so keen in archery. The sport has had growing participation amongst children in the last decade, however, since London 2012 there has been an unprecedented rise of 20% in nationwide involvement. Archery teaches children key life skills as well as it being an exciting and fun sport for them. The chairman of Northamptonshire Archery Club, Eric Jackson, believes that there is more to archery than just learning how to fire an arrow, Jackson said, “Sport is the cornerstone of development of children along with traditional core subjects. It teaches discipline, how to obey rules, how to win and lose (life skills) and much more. Sport can also be linked to many core subjects for example Math’s / physics, history etc”. Although Team GB Archery did not have a successful Olympics, it is clear that just by watching the sport children have been enticed to it both in and out of school and this is something else that Jackson thought was clear for him to see. “Yes there has been a significant increase in juniors undertaking archery both within clubs and in schools throughout the County and Country, since the Olympics and that is great news.”


spire Northamptonshire By Josh Craib and Katie Johnstone

o nt e t h lis to Finc k c sti teve y S ke oc with h the rview k e c Cli n int a



orthampton High School student Emily Kilner was one of the many juniors who were interested in applying for the difficult challenge of the hockey single system programme. The Northamptonshire School and Youth Hockey Association is responsible for the development of all junior county hockey players in schools or clubs U12’s and U18’s. The association offers juniors a development pathway to work their way through the England single system, eventually working up to competing on a national scale and possibly even at the next Olympic games. Emily Kilner has been within the system for the past three seasons, working her way up from playing at an amateur level. Playing for a number of years starting in the under twelve squad, she was spotted from an early start that she had potential to go all the way. This season, Emily got her big break and was selected to captain England’s U16’s match against Belgium. With around 150 juniors a year coming to the association hoping to make it through the lengthy and difficult process, Emily is the biggest success story Northampton hockey has produced so far. For the juniors that go through the intense coaching and are unsuccessful the association

provide them with feedback in order to work on their skills and return the following year if they desire. Anyone is welcome to come to the association in the summer, even those with little or no experience, as well as members of clubs across the Northamptonshire area. Steve Finch the chairman of the Northamptonshire School and Youth Hockey Association says “theoretically from as little as a twelve month period you can go from playing hockey from little or even no experience and get picked up to play nationally.” This gives juniors the opportunity to get scouted on a national level and change their lives. Since the London 2012 Olympics, the association saw an increase in sporting interest. “We had a lot more people that seemed like they wanted to get involved.” The association witnessed an upturn the next twelve months after the Olympics took place. By displaying the “Inspire a generation” campaign, it helped influence children to take up sports. This season, a year since the Olympics, the association have dropped back to the standard submission of applicants again since early 2012. Being given the opportunity to battle through the tricky and lengthy stages in order to make it to the top, more juniors in Northamptonshire might try and follow in Emily’s footsteps and produce more stars for the county. Archery images courtesy of Eric Jackson Hockey image courtesy of Steve Finch


Boxing: Keeping kids off the streets A

s well as having a successful junior boxing team, Northampton ABC helps children with behavioural issues to become more rounded people. The club has seen many parents bring their children through the doors with the aim of improving behavioural problems, and most people, after a short period of time have seen that aim reached. Doubters will say that no child should participate in boxing and that it is a brutal sport, but Wayne Gordon the gym’s head coach believes different. Many of the children who have attended the classes throughout the club’s long history have reversed their behaviour problems and in turn, their fitness and education have benefited, showing that boxing can improve and change young people’s lives for the better.

“We have worked with kids with behavioural problems. Sometimes, just by punching a bag they can let out their aggression” Wayne Gordon, Head Coach of ABC

Boxing Facts:

Children must wear a head guard, gum shield and non-slip shoes Each bout consists of three, 2 minute rounds Former Olympic champion Evander Holyfield started boxing at 8 yrs old A referee has to stop a junior match immediately if blood is drawn The word ‘fight’ is prohibited

To hear an exclusive interview with both Wayne Gordon and Brian Moore please click the link below 10

Click on the boxing gloves for an audio package on Northampton AMC boxing

Junior Boxing: The Misconception Joshua Craib reports from the Northampton Amateur Boxing Club as the numbers of children participating in the sport is increasing.


By Josh Craib

oxing is a sport that many people consider violent and aggressive. Yet, as Northampton’s Amateur Boxing Club gets ready to celebrate its 60th anniversary, there are more youth boxers than adults’ on the books. Many of the children who attend the sessions would otherwise be on the street so in essence the club not only benefits the children, but the local community too. The affordability of the sport is also a big factor in higher attendances, with the Saturday under twelve’s hour session only costing £2. However, many of the children there also see it as a way to de-stress and burn off excess steam and energy. Children’s boxing, like all amateur boxing, is naturally safer than the mainstream version of the sport as head guards are essential and you get no extra points for knocking out an opponent. The emphasis is on striking certain ‘point zones’ in order to accumulate the highest possible points over three, two-minute rounds. Children must wear gum shields and most only hit punch bags and gloves until they are around twelve. The word fight is banned from the gym as, as well as being a breach of the peace; the terminology is bout and not fight. However, boxing ability is not the main skill the youngsters go home with, gym manager Brian Moore believes that it isn’t just their fists that the children use when they participate but transferable skills that will help them in life, Brian said: “There is a huge misconception that boxing is all about aggression and trying to beat up your opponent, but it teaches the kids to be motivated, to have self discipline, and also to get fitter, they learn a lot here. They need to have that discipline and confidence and most importantly want to do it. Some of these children used to get into trouble on the streets but now they’re not – they have somewhere to get it out of there system here and can learn life skills.” Head trainer, Wayne Gordon was also quick to inform people of how he feels the club is beneficial to the development of the children who go there. Speaking about the benefits, Wayne said, “ They learn the mental aspect of it as well as the physical, a lot of children prefer to stay at home and play their X-Box’s, whereas here they learn to look after their bodies. “ Overall, it seems that people’s opinions on children boxing one another will always be varied, however, one thing that is indisputable, is that the children who are members of Northampton ABC are fitter both physically and mentally due to the coaching they receive.


Get involved in sports in your area Northampton Old Scouts RFC Rushmere Road Northampton NN1 5RY clubs/northamptonoldscouts Football For All The Racecourse Northampton NN2 7HG clubs/ffa Northampton Law Tennis Club Westwood Way Northampton NN3 3HH

Northampton Basketball Club Sports Plus Centre Weston Favell Upper School Northampton NN3 3EZ

Northampton Rowing Club Peaches Meadow Bedford Road Northampton NN4 7AA http://www.northamptonrc.

Wellingborough Open Archery Club Wrenn School Wellingborough NN8 2JJ

Duston Netball Club The Duston School Northampton NN5 6XA http://www.dustonnetball.

Northampton Hockey Club Moulton Sports Complex Northampton NN3 7SD http://www.saintshockey.

Nene Valley Rhythmic Gymnastics Club Weavers Sport Centre Wellingborough NN8 1JB http://www.nenevalley-rgc.

£6K spent on community sports By Joe Frost


VER £6000 has been spent on community sports projects for young people in Northampton throughout 2013. The investment is part of Northampton Council’s Empowerment Fund, which works to ensure young people across the town are able to get involved with sport in their local community. Upton Youth Club alone received a fund of almost £1000 to invest in hockey tables and football goals for children in the Upton area. Collingtree Parish Council also received the sum of £750 earlier this year to use towards purchasing new sports equipment. The Empowering Councillors and Communities Scheme grants up to £7000 per year to each of Northamptonshire County Council’s 73 councillors to spend within their electoral division. They can fund large or small schemes of benefit to local people and local communities through purchasing items such as: new playground equipment for a local park, a disabled access ramp for a community centre, or paying for coach hire for days out for elderly residents. Councillors can retain their money for up to 4 years if they wish to fund larger projects, and can also match fund projects with other councillors and organisations.

Key Investments: Wooton community sports centre: £1000 for new table tennis tables/pool table cover Kingsley primary school: £730 for school sports equipment

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