Jane Ashworth - CEO of StreetGames
Jane Ashworth, CEO of StreetGames, the groundbreaking national charity which brings sport to young people in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, was born in Rochdale before moving to Nottingham at the age of 10.
Having always harbored a passion for sport, Jane studied Sociology for her Batchelors degree at Durham University before being awarded an MSc in the Sociology of Sport from Leicester University.
Jane now lives in South East London where through a career in sport and youth development, she has earned a reputation as one of the leading voices and opinion shapers in Community Sport.
Jane's work in sport began in Newcastle-upon-Tyne as the Leisure Centre’s Recreation Development Officer on the Cowgate Estate where she set up the Cowgate Kestrels Women’s Football Club 1990. Within five years the team rose through the divisions to enjoy founding member status of the FA Women’s Premiership. The club has since become Sunderland WFC.
Following her experience and success with the team, Jane wrote an account of the battle for recognition in her acclaimed novel: Kicking the Boys' Balls: From Cowgate to Sunderland - The Story of the Kestrels Women's Football Club. The book, published by Juma in 2001 was well received and and featured in the Sports Best Seller List that year.
Moving from sport to broader anti-poverty work, Jane worked for Newcastle and Salford City Councils’ Chief Executive Departments on innovative community engagement strategies. She also enjoyed a spell managing the Community and Youth Service in Kirkby for Knowsley Borough Council.
Returning to sport in 1996, Jane worked for Sport England in the South East Region. Here she developed an understanding of the English sports system and the potential contribution of sport to changing lives– especially in areas of deprivation.
A three year placement from Sport England into the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit of The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister provided Jane with the opportunity to develop the contribution of sport to community renewal.
StreetGames: changing lives, changing communities, changing sport
StreetGames is a groundbreaking national charity which works with young people in disadvantaged neighbourhoods to change lives and communities through sport.
From a pub back-room in Waterloo, Jane and three colleagues from a previous life, came together with a vision to close the gap between sport participation and the economic status of young people.
StreetGames charity was born in 2007 as a pilot partnership between the Football Foundation, Sport England and the New Deal for Communities Team within the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit.
From 30 projects in 2007 to 130 in 2011, StreetGames delivers sport to the doorsteps of young people in disadvantaged areas. Working in partnership with projects across the UK, means that sport is accessible for young people regardless of their social circumstances: when they want it; where they want it and how they want it.
The expertise StreetGames possesses in delivering doorstep sport and the impact that makes on communities has been recognised by high profile ambassadors, parliamentary and industry leaders and corporates alike. Counting Coca Cola GB and The Co-operative Group as official partners is testament to how influential the network of 130 projects has become.
2010 brought a new chapter for the charity in the shape of a strategic partnership with Sport England. StreetGames' National Partner status was brought about to enable more sporting organisations tol benefit from the charity’s expertise in making sport accessible to young people, regardless of their social circumstances – helping to deliver a lasting Olympic legacy of a million people playing more sport.