RECORD numbers of teenagers are enjoying three weeks of free activities to kickstart their summer holidays.
Nearly 800 secondary school pupils from Gosport and Fareham have registered to enjoy the Gosport Summer Passport scheme, which provides activities for young people over the summer.
The scheme, organised by Gosport Community Safety Partnership, kicked off its 12th year this week with two days of fun in the sun at Walpole Park and Privett Park.
Teenagers turned out in force to enjoy inflatables, circus skills, rounders, a free barbecue and more.
Motiv8, which runs projects for young people, was at the launch for visitors to enjoy some karaoke.
Tom Clark, sessional worker, said: ‘It’s quite a nice confidence builder for kids because they would never get up on stage and do it but when they’re with their mates it’s a laugh.
‘It is so good to have all this for kids to do for free, it’s just incredible.’
Leon Strachan, 13, had a blast on Wednesday as the scheme kicked off in Walpole Park.
He said: ‘We’re all really grateful to come here and do this. I think it’s really good for people who don’t have anything to do and if parents can’t afford to go out then they can do things for free with this.’
With plenty to look forward to including falconry and sailing, Kizzie Abban said she cannot wait to enjoy ice skating and swimming.
The 13-year-old said: ‘I think it’s really cool, you get to meet up with your friends and it’s all free. It’s really fun and we get to try things we have never done before.’
One of the main aims, said organiser Sam Mitchell, is to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour, as well as encouraging young people to travel around the borough.
Mandy Baggaley, safeguarding officer for Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘There’s lots of things for people to do, they come with their friends but it’s a chance for them to mix and get stuck into activities they wouldn’t normally.’
The scheme will run at various locations from midday to 4pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for the next two weeks, ending on August 8 at Leesland Park.