Delivering the Benefits of Sport to all our Communities
Project Forte is a Changing Lives programme developed in France and delivered for the first time in the UK by a partnership involving Scottish Fencing, local councils and Rape and Sexual Abuse Centres in Scotland. The programme is aimed generally at community and hard to reach groups, but in particular, it that been found to have a strong therapeutic benefit for survivors of violence and trauma.
The French Fencing Federation (FFE) has for a number of years worked with practitioners to create an extraordinary and unique therapeutic environment using fencing sport workshops as part of the healing process following physical trauma, including sexual violence.
In June 2018, sport coaches from Scotland, along with colleagues from France, Belgium and Canada, attended intensive training workshops and practical exercises in Paris. Following this, a number of short courses were run in Scotland with local community groups including RASAC Perth & Kinross. As a result, “Project Forte” was one of fifteen projects supported by the Scottish Government’s Women and Girls Fund aiming to make life changing difference. By the end of 2019 we acquired the skills and resources to run a one year programme in a number of local authority areas in Scotland.
Scottish Fencing’s National Coach Manager, Phil Carson says “In this project the coaches work hand-in-glove with our local partners to run short programmes featuring fencing-themed practice which inspire and motivate survivors to reconnect their physical and mental beings and to learn and develop skills and attributes such as self-control, self-confidence and self-belief as they work with others to rebuild lives impacted by violence or surgery.”
Mel Young, chair of sportscotland, said: “Sport has the power to change lives and the projects chosen to receive this funding demonstrate that the benefits of participation go way beyond simply improving physical health.
“For some of the women and girls, the impact literally could be life-changing, as they develop the social skills, self-confidence and employability skills they need to progress in life.