StreetGames awarded £20m boost for young people in disadvantaged communities
Funding from National Lottery used to deliver post-Olympic Legacy
The hugely successful London Olympics have produced a record number of British medallists in modern times, but only a small proportion have come from the poorest neighbourhoods of the country. Without proper investment, this won’t change.
While it is gratifying to see athletes from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as Mo Farah and Nicola Adams, excel, it has almost been in spite of the current system, rather than because of it. StreetGames is working to change this by giving young people in deprived neighbourhoods an equal chance to succeed.
StreetGames has today announced an additional £20 million in funding to deliver our pioneering Doorstep Sport Clubs initiative; subject to the success of an initial £500,000 pilot scheme.
The funding from the National Lottery will capitalise on the huge levels of awareness and interest in sport generated by the London 2012 Olympic Games. StreetGames, which recently achieved the milestone of our two millionth project attendance, will use the money to create 1,000 Doorstep Sport Clubs across the country; building on our concept of delivering sport to the doorsteps of young people in disadvantaged communities. The goal is to bring sport close to the home in disadvantaged communities at the right time, for the right price, to the right place and in the right style.
StreetGames CEO, Jane Ashworth OBE said, “The Olympics is our one and only opportunity to ensure a true sporting legacy is established for young people in this country. They are hungry for sport and the additional funding from Sport England will ensure that those most in need are not left behind and benefit from our Doorstep Sport Clubs programme, an initiative that is proven to generate results and make a real difference in the communities they serve.”
She added, “It is important that the focus on school sport is complimented by equal attention on community sport. As children are outside of school more than they are in, there is a definite need to ensure there is good quality of provision.”
In only five years, StreetGames has helped change the face of community sport. Aiming for equality in both availability and participation, the charity now supports 270 projects and is engaged with over 4,400 young volunteers, who have contributed over 100,000 hours of their time to community sport. It has recruited local coaches, increased female participation, reduced anti-social behaviour and provided opportunities for young people to gain skills and confidence through volunteering in areas where there are too few volunteering opportunities. Recently, StreetGames volunteers took 1,200 children to experience live sport at the various Olympic venues across the country, inspiring them to carry on with their involvement.
Whilst the aim is sport for all, StreetGames has already had success in producing young elite athletes. These include the likes of Mason Bennett of StreetGames Shirebrook Academy, who in 2011 became the youngest player to start a Football League game when appearing for Derby County, and Callum Jones from StreetGames George Salter, who played for England under-16s against Spain last year.
The funding comes as both the public and politicians across the spectrum seek to maintain the national feeling of pride and goodwill generated by the Olympic Games. The success of Team GB has generated a national desire to capitalise on the energy and inspiration of London 2012 to improve the sporting opportunities available to everyone