The Crags flips sport on it’s head.
Our customers are our volunteers (we’ve banned janitors) and we use sport to improve mental well-being.
Having returned the Centre to community use since 2011 and achieved financial sustainability, we now have a new vision for the impact we can make. We have been leaders in sport social enterprise and community asset transfer and we now intend to set new precedents for the role of community sport in the mental health of children and young people.
We aim to lead a step-change in the role of sport, away from just traditional physical outcomes, towards sport playing a leading role in people’s mental health and well-being.
We believe sport has undeveloped potential as a hook for children and young people that can set in place patterns of thought and behaviour that can significant protect and enhance mental well-being.
We want people to experience improved mental well-being, resilience, and confidence, and to learn new skills for life which can be drawn upon and applied to any challenge that comes their way.
We want children and young people to experience life-changing moments of joy, and profound personal growth through sport. We want them to receive the wonders that can come from being part of our fresh perspective on sport which believes sport is not simply a physical pursuit measured by winning and losing; rather, it can be a secure, compassionate, meaningful space for learning about oneself, and developing ways of being happier and healthier.
We want vulnerable children and young people to have someone to turn to, and to be surrounded by adult role models and peers who don’t measure them by their sporting abilities, but who instead treat them with skillful compassion and sensitivity. The sport-for-change practitioners (including coaches) we plan to impact will gain knowledge and skills, so they can be that person to turn to. They will be inspired to be “social change-makers” and will be supported in that ambition.
Through the systemised delivery of programmes, we plan to have a cumulative effect which helps people realise their potential.
The organisation is led by a Board of Trustees with extensive professional experience. In addition, the Trustees collaborate closely with the Leadership Team of Blaze Basketball Club, combining to form a strong core of capable volunteers.
Strategy is converted to action by a highly capable staff team who work everyday to improve the lives of the people we serve.
Partnership working is central to our approach. We are a single-tier SCIO comprising three core partners:
Boroughmuir Blaze Basketball Club
Castlerock Edinvar Housing Association
We also currently work closely with two organisations who’s social missions align with ours:
Dance Division, a charity specializing in dance opportunities for children and young people, share the Crags’ office and deliver weekly classes and school holiday camps
The Melting Pot, a pioneering social enterprise that offers collaborative coworking and meeting spaces, provides meeting and workshops services for clients in the Crags’ studio three days a week.
The community groups who hire our facilities are treated as partners. They are trusted with key access to the building and in doing so we effectively turn our customers into volunteers. This partnership is the foundation of the sustainable business model.
A group of basketball volunteers reopened The Crags Centre in 2011 after it was shut down by two previous occupiers. What was once a symbol of community failure is now a sustainable social enterprise with a track record of delivering social outcomes through sport.
The Crags Community Sports Centre is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), often referred to as simply “The Crags”.