StreetGames honours community sports projects in annual awards Coaches, volunteers and sports organisations have been honoured in this year’s annual StreetGames Awards, which celebrate those individuals and organisations who have made an outstanding contribution to their communities and to the world of community sport. Unfortunately, the current lockdown rules meant that this year’s StreetGames annual conference, which would normally host the awards evening, was unable to go ahead. Instead, the charity took to social media over the course of last week to showcase the winners and nominees. They were supported by a cast of celebrities from the world of sport, including Gary Lineker, Beth Tweddle and Phil Tufnell who produced video messages for the winners. The StreetGames annual awards showcase projects within the StreetGames network who have gone above and beyond in the work they do supporting young people and the neighbourhoods they live in. They include categories which recognise achievements in supporting mental health, tackling crime and youth violence, and delivering particular programs such as Fit and Fed which provides free, nutritious food alongside physical activity. StreetGames Chair John Cove said: “Over the past year, these finalists have demonstrated a truly extraordinary level of commitment to the lives and goals of young people: enhancing their skills, improving their prospects and revitalising their overall health and wellbeing. They are the unsung heroes who make this sector what it is today, by inspiring and empowering the community leaders of tomorrow.” The winners of this year’s StreetGames Awards are: Young Coach of the Year - Ayah Abduldaim, Grangetown Doorstep Sport Club After fleeing the conflict in Libya with her family, Ayah Abduldaim came to Wales without the means to effectively communicate with her newfound classmates. Thankfully, sport provided an answer. Finding connection through her enormous love of football, Ayah was able to quickly advance from project participant to volunteer, all the way up to coaching. Today, Ayah leverages her hard-won reputation as a local role model to overcome cultural hurdles and inspire dozens of young women from similar backgrounds. Coach of the Year – Hussein Muhamad Hussein, Streatham Academy FC As a child, Hussein’s family fled war-torn Somalia to settle in the Streatham area of London. Years later, he experienced a second loss of community - this time with the closure of the local Somali-run Waaberi FC. Of its 30 beneficiaries, only Hussein and three others were able to avoid the traps of youth crime and gang life. Since that time, Hussein has made it his mission to inspire, educate and empower the local youth to help them all to make the same positive choice! Volunteer of the Year – Nahimul Islam. Wapping Youth FC Founder, treasurer, welfare officer, coach and chairman: Nahimul Islam does a little bit of everything for Wapping Youth FC, and almost all of it as a volunteer! Despite working a full-time job with the local authority, Nahimul somehow finds time to handle everything from recruitment and fundraising to running small errands for community members in need – a tireless work ethic that has even attracted the attention of television producers and the Home Office, who have approached Nahimul to present a new series of webisodes outlining positive responses to Islamophobia. The Matt Kendal Award – David Taylor, Positive Futures Lincolnshire Diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 22, David Taylor would soon to go on to experience a series of personal and professional setbacks, all of which left him feeling anxious and depressed. His inspiring turnaround began in 2014, when David began volunteering with the Positive Futures project in Lincolnshire. Since that time, David has become a fully-fledged member of the team, demonstrating an incredible passion for youth development, and mentorship work that has helped him to become the inspiring figure he is today. Sustainability Award – Northampton Street Sport Project Now in its 15th year of local activity delivery, the Northampton Street Sports Project is continuing to go from strength to strength. Using sport to steer young people away from crime and anti-social behavior and towards more positive opportunities, the organisation has succeeded in achieving long-lasting sustainability through a combination of factors. These range from its pro-active approach to partnership development and impact assessment, to the organisation’s continual re-investment and improvement of its services, all throughout the region. Mental Health & Wellbeing Award – The Denis Law Trust ‘StreetWise’ project When it comes to tackling stubborn mental health stigmas, the StreetWise campaign opts to take a varied approach. Depending on the situation, that could mean training up more team members to tackle wellbeing-related issues or to signpost users towards more specialist support. Whatever the case, StreetWise is prepared to offer meaningful support, and to do so in a way that takes account of the particular wants and needs of every individual – whether that means chatting in person, online, or anonymously. Engaging Women and Girls Award – Us Girls Swansea Swansea Councils’ Us Girls camps offer young girls living in the Swansea area the chance to experience a wide range of sports-based physical activities in a safe, friendly and non-judgmental environment. With a strong emphasis on teamwork and confidence-building exercises, coaches support attendees to develop more than just their sports skills. Here, problem solving skills are just as key – outfitting young women with many of the abilities and attributes that will aid them in other aspects of their lives. Community Safety Award – Aura Leisure With a strong local referral system as its basis, Aura’s Leisure’s community sports programme works to bring the benefits of sport to some of the region’s hardest hit local communities - areas where youth crime and anti-social behaviour are unfortunately common. The programme’s unique and creative efforts have included a recent anti-knife crime festival – which gave at-risk young people the chance to interact with several youth justice figures as part of a laid back day of activities. Fit and Fed Award – Link4Life In the space of just three years, Link4Life’s Fit and Fed provision has expanded from just one location to an incredible 22 – serving up a little over 5,300 meals in 2019 alone! Backed by a diverse range of funders and contributors, from the Tesco Bags of Help campaign to the organisation’s numerous volunteers, the programme has continued to develop, and to broaden its offer to include more people, more meal sand more training opportunities, each and every year! Project of the Year – Stand Against Violence Initiative (SAVI) The Rhyl-based ‘Stand Against Violence Initiative’ (SAVI) prides itself on taking a truly ‘joined up’ approach to Doorstep Sport, and the development of positive pathways for young people. Led by the West Rhyl Young People’s Project, the partnership works to offer fun and informal sporting sessions in an area where similar opportunities have typically been limited. Equal parts creative and receptive, the organisation is always quick to respond to the young people’s thoughts and opinions, ensuring maximum retention and a consistently strong sense of investment from participants.