Showcasing the Sport for Development sector - Autumn 2018



Autumn 2018









i erLogo.pdf 1 04/07/2018 09:34



This booklet has been produced by ConnectSport,

the official media partner of the Sport for Development Coalition.

ConnectSport is an online directory of organisations using sport and physical activity to

generate positive social outcomes. It also provides a not-for-profit news channel

managed by a group of national media executives and journalists working with the

Coalition to raise awareness and increase investment in the UK’s Sport for Development sector.

To register your organisation for free on the directory, and send us your press releases,

please contact





The Sport for Development movement is a coming together of all those organisations

that use the power of sport and physical activity to improve the lives of individuals, and

their communities, across the UK.

At the Coalition, our focus is to bring together the sector to stimulate collaboration,

build a culture of innovation and drive continuous improvement.

This booklet is designed to showcase a handful of examples of the amazing and

diverse work which is having an impact right now across the UK. It is not an exhaustive

list of projects, and we welcome your interest and invite you to get involved.

If your organisation is part of the Sport for Development movement in the UK,

please get in touch and register on the ConnectSport directory, so we can also

showcase your work and raise awareness of the sector.





Sarah Mortiboys

Sport for Development Coalition manager

Autumn 2018

With thanks to our funders









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Women in Sport (registered charity number

1060267) exists so that every woman and girl in

the UK can experience the transformational

lifelong rewards of sport. To achieve this, the

charity informs through research into women

and girls and their relationship with sport and

physical activity, innovates by partnering with

sport deliverers, and inspires using insight and

expertise to bring about changes in policy,

practice and attitudes. Throughout 2016 and

2017, Women in Sport reached 10.6million

people through its Women’s Sport Week Campaign

in the UK. Since 2004, Women in Sport has

collected and published data on the gender

make-up of the boards and executive teams of

publicly-funded sports organisations and

campaigned for gender diversity at senior levels

in sport. In November 2016, the charity secured

a commitment from the UK government that all

publicly-funded governing bodies of sport must

have a minimum of 30% women on their board.

Women in Sport works with more than 100 sports organisations every year,

providing workshops, guidance and training to help them improve their sports

provision and workplace practices to create better opportunities for women

and girls to take part in sport. As a result, tens of thousands of women and

girls benefit from being able to access sport and physical activity

programmes that are tailored to their needs.

“Women in Sport is a leading sector voice on girls’ and women’s

relationship with sport and physical activity. Its groundbreaking research and

expertise in this area have contributed to bringing about sustainable change

in attitudes and mindsets” - Cathy Hughes, Sport England.

“It’s brilliant that we have organisations like Women in Sport who can

constantly push the agenda and champion diversity. In sport, this is crucial

because we ultimately have a ‘product’ that should be accessible to all” -

Georgina Usher, British Fencing CEO.

“As an athlete, and as a mum, I know first hand how important it is for young

girls in particular to have strong role models in their lives to encourage them

to take part in sport” - Rebecca Adlington OBE, Patron of Women in Sport.





The UK’s leading sport for employability charity

Street League uses sport to change the lives of young people living in the UK’s

most disadvantaged communities, helping them to achieve their potential and

overcome barriers to employment and educational achievement whilst inspiring

them to adopt healthy and active lives. Street League’s aim is to end youth unemployment

in the UK. They do this by working in schools to prevent it, supporting

young people to move into work after school, and ensuring

they stay in the jobs they get long term. Street League know

that if they are going to end youth unemployment they need

to provide holistic support to each young person, at all

stages of their journey. This support is embedded in their innovative

sport programmes throughout which they focus

on all aspects of the young person’s wellbeing. Street

League have also been leading the UK charity sector in

transparent impact measurement, releasing two awardwinning

annual reports in which they talk up-front about

what they didn’t get right. In 2017 the

charity launched a groundbreaking

online impact dashboard (visit

showing in real time how the charity

has performed over the previous 12

months and allowing users to draw

their conclusions about whether the

charity is effective or not.


Clarke left school with low grades due to bad attendance

and, in his own words, “hanging around with the wrong

crowds”. A couple of years claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance

rolled by before he met a Street League coach at the Job

Centre and was invited to join an Academy programme. On

the programme, one-to-one mentoring was provided by the

Progressions Co-ordinator with CV-writing and interview

preparation, and functional skills in numeracy and literacy

for those who needed it. At the same time Clarke volunteered

to coach younger children attending the Academy venue,

helping to build his confidence and sense of responsibility.

After graduating, Street League staff helped Clarke to secure

a two-week work placement at TM Lewin which was quickly

followed by the opportunity to work as a post room clerk at

Reed Smith LLP. Despite initially being unsuccessful in

applying for this due to his lack of experience, Reed Smith

gave Clarke an internship for one month which was then

extended to three. Eventually he was offered a long-term work

placement as a records clerk and, alongside this, studied at

the Open University for a Bachelor of Laws degree. Five

years on from his first meeting with Street League, Clarke

became a paralegal

at Reed Smith LLP

and he is still in touch

with the charity, acting

as an ambassador.

He is pictured here

with Arsenal footballer

Laurent Koscielny at

a Street League gala

event in 2017.

Street League has

been shortlisted for

the Sport for

Innovation and Tech

Award at the Beyond

Sport Awards 2018.









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Give more. Become more.

Sports Leaders UK is an accredited

awarding organisation, regulated across

the UK, whose vision is for every young person

to reach their potential. It provides a suite of

nationally recognised qualifications and

awards that develop young people’s

leadership, confidence and employability

skills for life. Working with partners, its

awarding-body expertise adds credibility

and sustainability to programmes. Its

qualifications and awards can be delivered

within a range of education settings,

alongside curriculums as well as integrated

into community learning programmes. It promotes

peer-to-peer learning where learners

will develop their confidence and soft skills,

develop a habit of volunteering

and become more

skilled and employable

for life.

After starting Secondary School, Luke noticed a

dramatic downturn in his confidence and self-esteem.

“Sometimes I would have difficulty even leaving my

bedroom, never mind leaving my house,” he recalls. His

attendance dropped to 60%, and this continued for the

next couple of years, until he was diagnosed with anxiety

and depression. However playing sport remained his

passion. “When I put my rugby boots on and stepped

on to the field, it was as if I left everything that was on

my mind, behind me.” After hearing about a Sports

Leaders UK course, Luke joined the programme. “I

completely regained my confidence and got my life back

on track. The course gave me a whole new outlook on

life, and gave me a huge amount of aspiration for the

future. It led me to believe in myself, and that I could do

anything that I set my mind to.” Eventually Luke went on

to study Sport Leadership and Development at the

University of South Wales and recently graduated with a

First Class Honours degree. Now volunteering to help

other young people, he

says: “I believe every

young person has the

power to change

their own life, they

just have to

believe in themselves


believe in

their own










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Changing lives, changing communities, changing sport

Formed in 2007, StreetGames uses sport to help young people and the

communities that they live in to become healthier, safer and more

successful. The charity’s work is targeted at the most disadvantaged areas,

where young people are almost 50% less likely to be active than their

wealthier peers. Over the years, communities across the UK have benefitted

from StreetGames’ ‘Doorstep Sport’ approach, sport delivered in the right

place, at the right time, at the right price, in the right style and by the right

people. StreetGames has grown to over 1,000 projects, attracting more than

530,000 young people into sport, and achieving over 3.86million

attendances. Its programmes have also resulted in the involvement of 6,182

coaches, 15,388 volunteers and enabled 11,312 young people to gain new

qualifications. The aim of each StreetGames

project is to be sustainable by creating

local infrastructures owned and run

by local people. This leads to

stronger and safer communities,

the championing of social action

and volunteering, the combatting

of social exclusion and big

improvements to health and

mental wellbeing. Sport is at the

heart of everything that

StreetGames does because sport

has the power to kickstart a cycle of

positive change in a young person’s

life that can resonate throughout their

whole community.

As a young man, Jason would often find himself involved in anti-social

behaviour. With local police running short on patience and

relationships at home beginning to breakdown, ‘Jay’ knew something

had to change. “I never really belonged anywhere, so I think getting

involved with local gangs was almost inevitable. I was involved with

bad people and doing bad things. It was obvious I was going to end

up in jail”. Fortunately for Jay, he had access to a local StreetGames

affiliate ‘Y Sort It’, a project that supports young people aged 12 to 25

in Clydebank, Scotland. Despite initial misgivings, Jay soon became

involved in the running of the organisation’s many activities. He said:

“It was much better than I thought it would be - in fact, it was brilliant.

Things started to get better when I was offered a job with them. It was

only a 22-week placement. But it was the start of me turning my life

around”. Nowadays, Jay has a clear goal in mind: “To help people the

way StreetGames has helped me”, by making use of his new training

qualifications to become a coach or mentor himself. He adds: “My

ma’s really proud of me. I put my family through a lot. But I can now

say I’m a positive role model to my 10-year-old sister. You can’t really

compare where I am now to where I was just a few short months ago.

StreetGames didn’t give up on me.”










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Realising the potential of young people

in communities affected by crime

Fight for Peace is an international NGO whose mission is to

realise the potential of young people by working with them to

prevent violence in their communities. Founded in 2000 in the

favelas of Rio, it is working in 25 countries around the world

through Academies, Safer Communities Programmes and the

Fight for Peace Alliance, a global community of organisations

What they say…

“At the start, boxing was something practical for me.

In the environment I grew up in, people were either part

of a gang or a victim, so I began boxing because I

thought it could be a practical way of defending myself.

The message that you can do something in your life I got

from Fight for Peace, and from the personal development

sessions - they kept me training and kept me boxing.

Fight for Peace is a special family for me,

it was always an outlet that I

needed when I was at college

and a place where I met and

made lots of friends. I love

the positive message of

Fight for Peace. This positive

message, among so many

negative things in life, was

important for me.”



working together for peace. Its ‘Five Pillars’ methodology combines combat sports with

education and personal development, using non-traditional methods to engage young

people where conventional methods aren’t working. Through boxing and martial arts

at Fight for Peace, young people build strength and discipline, gain self-respect and

learn that success comes through hard work and dedication. Fight for Peace offer formal

education programmes for young people who have dropped out of school, and

employability support and training for young people to get access to the job market.

The NGO also uses a public health model which focuses on three levels of violence

prevention, including i) support for all young people living in communities affected by

crime and violence; ii) support for individuals or groups identified as being at risk of becoming

victims or perpetrators of crime and violence; iii) support for young people to

disengage from crime and violence, and work to prevent them re-offending or being

victimised again.









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Helping community groups survive, to help young people thrive

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018, Sported has become one of

the largest and most diverse Sport for Development membership

organisations - supporting a thriving network of over 3,000 community

sport and youth groups across the UK. Collectively, these groups utilise

over 90 different sports and activities, and are using sport to tackle

some of the most pressing social challenges in the UK from rising youth

violence and knife crime, to social integration and homelessness. In

supporting so many community-based organisations and delivering

millions of pounds in social return and savings, the charity and its

members are helping to redefine the long-held public perception on

sport’s role in society. Its expertise lies in building the capacity of these

grassroots organisations – mostly run on shoestring budgets and by

volunteers – through providing much-needed

operational and financial support. It operates a

completely free membership model, providing

access to professional expertise through a

pool of skilled volunteers and a range of free

support services and resources (eg funding

opportunities, impact measurement,

events). Volunteers come from a wide

variety of professional backgrounds, and

are carefully paired with Sported member

groups to provide capacity-building support

in key operational areas fundamental to their

ongoing sustainability and success (eg business

planning, financial management, governance,



One such community group to have benefitted from Sported’s

support is Abraham Moss Warriors Junior Football Club in Manchester,

England. Like the majority of Sported’s members, the club is based in

one of the most deprived areas of the UK and uses sport as a way of

getting young people off the streets, away from gangs and into

education. The club was founded by local resident, June Kelly, who

had plenty of football coaching experience, but little knowledge of

large funding applications. With support from Sported and its

volunteer business mentors, the charity helped develop a five-year

business plan and secured vital funding. The help couldn’t have come

at a more important time, as June testifies, “If it wasn't for the fantastic

support from Sported our club would no longer be in existence.” The

club has since gone from strength to strength; introducing a

homework club, literacy and numeracy classes, a library and widening

its reach in the local community to welcome over 400 young people

from 46 different countries through its doors each week.



The Surf Therapy Charity

The Wave Project is a charity

aimed at young people who are

at risk of developing mental ill

health. It has a unique approach

to tackling this problem, recruiting

and training hundreds of volunteers

to deliver free surfing lessons for

children who are most at risk. Working in small groups, surf mentors provide encouragement

and a listening ear which helps to break down the social barriers that can leave

young people feeling isolated and anxious. The aim of the charity is to build a sense of

community amongst the young people, the instructors and the volunteers that it works with

- creating a movement that is changing lives across the UK. The charity is currently operating

in 13 locations and this year is on track to work with over 1000 young people.



Isaac started the Wave Project’s six-week course

after being referred following a nine-month period

of home education, which in turn followed a bad

time at school. Isaac explained: “At my very first

session with the Wave Project I was greeted warmly

and felt like part of the group, I wasn’t made to feel

awkward or uncomfortable. The way of teaching

was brilliant; learn one step, put it into practice in

the sea and then come back to the beach for the

next step. Within a few weeks, my surfing had come

on enormously and I had learned new tips from

excellent surf instructors and volunteers. In September,

around halfway through the course, I returned to

school. The Wave Project boosted my confidence

and after completing the course, I joined the surf

club and I absolutely love going to it on Saturdays.

I got to meet new people who share the passion

with me, and I have made friendships along the

way, which is a big thing for me, as I never had

friends in school and was a target for bullying.

Seven months after I first joined the Wave Project, I

was given the opportunity to volunteer and went on

the training day, along with others my age. Despite

the horrendous weather, we loved it! Nine months

down the line, I am volunteering for this incredible

charity and I am absolutely loving it. I love to share

and teach my passion with the new kids, - some I

can relate to when I look back at myself last year.

Twelve months ago, I was a different person. The

Wave Project has transformed me into someone

new. I urge anyone who is given the opportunity to

go for it!”









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Empowering a global community with the

learning, skills and resources to repair broken

lives and build a stronger society for all

The purpose of the Alliance of Sport is to lead, co-ordinate and

provide evidence of the role of sport in crime prevention and the

rehabilitation of offenders. It brings together UK government

departments, academic experts, business leaders, statutory services,

service users and organisations across sport, development and

criminal justice to work towards its strategic goal of ensuring all

offenders and people at risk of offending have access to a sportbased

intervention. By 2023, the Alliance aims to create a better

equipped workforce which is delivering an integrated sport offer in

communities and prisons across the UK. The partnerships between

statutory services and the community will be better defined,

supported and celebrated, and their impact will be captured in real

time and promoted sector-wide. Under-represented groups of service

users will have a stronger voice to influence policy and practice. The

public understanding and support for people with complex needs will

have increased and as a result, there will be more opportunities and

resources for the sector.


One of the Alliance’s many ongoing projects is a Sport

England-funded initiative testing the effectiveness of a

‘sports club’ model with young offenders in two secure

establishments in Kent. Weekly sports clubs inside Medway

Secure Training Centre and Cookham Wood Young Offenders

Institution are delivered by key Alliance partners, Fight for

Peace and Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT). As

well as boxing and football coaching, young men and

women on the project receive personal development and

mentoring. After their release, they are encouraged to

engage with Fight for Peace and CACT community

programmes, giving them ongoing access to the same

coaches, positive role models and supportive social

environment they benefit from while in prison. This acts as

a distraction from re-offending and previous negative peer

groups and lifestyle habits. The project’s overall aim is to

identify the role of community sport partnerships in delivering

sport in prisons and how sport can best support people in

desisting from crime post-release. Additionally the Alliance’s

sector-wide Theory of Change is designed to maximise the

impact of all those who work across Sport for Development

and criminal justice. This establishes guidelines for building

a fully aligned and co-ordinated evidence base that proves

sport’s effectiveness at preventing criminal behaviour and

rehabilitating offenders. By setting out five key performance

indicators for how the impact of sports projects should be

measured, it aims to establish a sector-wide methodology

to improve the quality and consistency of delivery across

England, Wales and beyond.












Access Sport uses the power of community sport to improve inclusion,

wellbeing and employability outcomes for disadvantaged, at-risk and

disabled young people. The charity focuses its work on deprived urban

communities in London, Bristol, Manchester and Oxford, reaching nearly

10,000 young people each year. Its unique way of working empowers

local volunteers to build thriving sports clubs that are embedded and

sustainable within their communities. With Access Sport’s support,

partner clubs become better equipped to reach out, engage and develop

local young people in a safe, inclusive and welcoming setting. The charity

has extensive experience of working

across a wide range of sports, whether

traditional such as football or cricket, or less

traditional such as BMX, indoor climbing or

skate-boarding. At present, in partnership

with the respective sports’ governing bodies,

it is growing national youth-led movements

in BMX cycling and disability hockey,

sports which have proven to be highly successful

in enhancing the life prospects of

disadvantaged and disabled young

people. Access Sport has won national

awards including the Sports Business

Awards Best Charity Community CSR 2017

and the BT Sports Industry Awards Best

Community Project 2015.

Rosie lives with Physical Angelman Syndrome, which means she cannot speak and is

wheelchair bound. This creates a number of difficult barriers for her and her family, with

opportunities to be active scarce before they discovered Forest Flyerz. This was the first disability

inclusive club in the country which was developed by Access Sport to promote fully

inclusive hockey to the people of East London. The volunteers at the club, upskilled by Access

Sport, took time to understand Rosie’s disability and began to adapt hockey to meet

her needs. The opportunity changed Rosie’s life, providing her with a new level of independence

and allowing her to travel to other clubs and meet new people. Rosie, who won a Jack

Petchey Award for trying new innovative equipment, is popular because of her enthusiasm

and overwhelming positivity which provides strength and hope for other disabled players

and their families. A family member said: “We surprised wheelchair services this year because

we had to get new wheels for Rosie’s chair! She has been so active in it doing Flyerz

that she actually wore her wheels out, she’s loved doing sport so much.” There are now 15

Flyerz clubs with funding in place to create 50 more in the next three years.



@_Greenhouse _

Growing up in South London, Nathan witnessed his

brothers and friends drop out of school and get into trouble.

Thanks to the Greenhouse Sports coach at his school,

Nathan took a different path. Now, he is finishing his degree

in Economics and Computer Science at Allegheny College

(USA), where he has consistently sat in the top 10% of his

class. “Before I joined Greenhouse Sports, most people

would have described me as your typical delinquent, always

looking to start fights and cause trouble with others. I was

an angry young man and I was growing up in one of the

toughest boroughs in south London. Luckily for me, I was

given the opportunity at a young age to lead a different life.

This opportunity came with the introduction by my head

teacher to my Greenhouse Sports coach and mentor,

Predrag. Looking back I think that working with Predrag was

my last chance at school. Greenhouse Sports didn’t just

make me a better player; it made me a better student.”

Since 2002, Greenhouse

Sports has

worked with young

people across

London to develop

life skills and raise

aspirations through

sport. Coaches

deliver high-quality

extra-curricular sports






people before,

during and after

school, at the

weekends and during school holidays,

reaching over 40,000 young

people since the charity began.

Through these sessions young

people learn not only to be active

and healthy, but also to be strong

confident people and good citizens.



Changing young lives through sport

77% of the young people

on the programmes are

growing up in deprived


according to the UK

Government’s Income


Affecting Children

Index. Many of the

11 to 16-year-olds






from single parent

households, have

low confidence, or

struggle to fit in at school. On a

Greenhouse Sports programme,

the coach works with participants to

develop Social, Thinking, Emotional,

and Physical (STEP) skills to raise

their aspirations and succeed in

later life.













Creating a brighter future for children and

young people through the power of sport

The Youth Sport Trust (YST) is a children’s charity founded

in 1995, dedicated to creating a brighter future for young

people through the power of sport. It pioneers new ways of

using sport to improve young people’s wellbeing and works

to ensure that every child – regardless of age, gender, background

or ability – has the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of

an active lifestyle. To do this, it focuses on:

i) Transforming Physical Education. Redefining PE’s place

in the curriculum, putting it at the centre of wellbeing and

achievement in education

ii) Removing barriers to sport. Harnessing global best practice

Fatima is an 18-year-old Muslim woman whose life has been transformed

through sport. In Fatima’s community, many young people are not encouraged

to go out as the local playing areas are seen as dangerous, especially for young

girls. Through her involvement in the Local People Project, delivered by the Youth

Sport Trust on behalf of the People’s Health Trust, Fatima has used sport as a

vehicle to define her as a person and use the skills she has learned to support

more young Muslim girls to get active. She now regularly leads football sessions

in the community and her status, and the trust placed in her by parents, has

enabled her to encourage children to play in a park adjacent to her neighbourhood.

She said: “Sport has allowed me to demonstrate that the power of sport comes

from a person’s soul regardless on their gender, ethnicity or religion. Through

my involvement in the Local People Project,

it has helped me to develop skills to

support more young Muslim girls to ge

active in the community. I now regularly

lead football sessions in the community

and give a voice to girls in my community

on my local steering group.”

to ensure youth sport in the UK is inclusive, accessible and fun.

iii) Unlocking potential. Unlocking sport’s potential at every

stage of a child’s life, especially where they face inequality or


iv) Empowering activism. Helping young people through

sport to become young activists, tackling the issues of their


Between 2013 and 2018, the Trust helped more than

4.7million children participate in sport and physical activity,

trained 210,000 young people and adults in inclusive practice

and supported 99,000 teachers with continuous professional

development. The Trust’s international arm – Youth Sport Trust

International – has delivered training for sport and development

projects in 63 countries to date.














Working to make active lives possible with a

vision that disabled people are active for life

Activity Alliance is the new name for the English Federation of Disability

Sport. The charity works at the centre of world-renowned programmes for

disabled people, and brings members, partners and disabled people together

to make active lives possible. Collectively, it continues to challenge perceptions

and change the reality of disability, inclusion and sport. It enables organisations

to support individual disabled people to remain active for life, working with

local and national partners on a range of programmes including engagement,

training, marketing and the Inclusive Fitness Initiative. In January 2016, Spirit of

2012, a charity set up with money from the Big Lottery Fund to carry forward the

spirit of the London 2012

Olympic and Paralympic

Games, awarded £4.5 million

to a UK-wide consortium

led by Activity Alliance. ‘Get

Out Get Active’ (GOGA) is an

exciting programme that

supports disabled and

non-disabled people to

enjoy being active together.

All partners are focused on

getting some of the UK's

least active people moving

more through fun and

inclusive activities.


Examples of projects

‘Get Out Get Active’ runs for three years

(2016-2019) and within 18 localities across

the UK. Activity Alliance teamed up with

an extensive range of partners to help

reach more people, who have the greatest

need to be active. These partners offer

local knowledge and national expertise.

Working together, it aims to increase the

number of people who are able to access

and enjoy local opportunities. This could

be through a local authority or independent

provider, sports clubs or volunteering. It

aims to motivate people by tapping into

their values and the things that matter

most to them, including building friendships,

maintaining health, having fun and

progressing in life. The partners want to

support more people to lead active and

healthier lifestyles. By doing this, it can

actively help to build stronger and unified

communities. It can also proactively share

results on a wider scale, so others can

benefit from, and use its learning.

‘Talk to Me’ 10 principles - guide for

partners. Research with disabled people

led to these principles, which explored

what helps to make activities more

appealing and accessible. If used

effectively, the principles apply to a wide

range of inactive audiences - not just

disabled people.












Through its commitment to people, passion and progress, UK Coaching is taking the lead in

coaching excellence. Great coaching encourages people to be more active, more often, and

there are much wider benefits involved, including physical and mental wellbeing, and economic,

individual and social development. UK Coaching is helping nurture coaching skills and

supporting the organisations who recruit, support and deploy the people who use coaching

skills. Its mission is to put coaching at the heart of physical activity and sport.

Charmaine Daley is a Nottingham-based

Zumba coach, who has an infectious zest for

life. But she wasn’t always this way. Throughout

her 30s, Charm was made redundant three

times, something she took incredibly personally.

With two young children, Charm and her partner

were struggling to pay the bills, and at the same

time, she was battling against post-natal

depression. She says: “I was quite down in the

dumps about myself and had put on a lot of

weight as well through pregnancy. I had some

psychiatric help which was quite a big wow for

me because that’s when I realised that it had hit

the fan. I’d always been in to dance and then

somebody said to me about trying Zumba.”

After deliberating for nine months about

whether to attend, Charm went along to a session.

At the class, Charm experienced what she

calls her ‘lightbulb’ moment. She saw women of

all shapes, sizes and abilities having a great

time exercising. “Not only was I happy, but for

the first time in a long time I laughed. Proper

belly-laughed. I felt like I just found me all over

again.” Following the class, Charm decided to

use the rest of her redundancy money to retrain

as an instructor, and has now coached Zumba

in Nottingham for the past six years, losing

three-and-a-half stone and gaining a renewed

sense of confidence. “I realised the benefits it

had given me, raising my confidence and

increasing my self-esteem. I just felt happier

about myself. What I wanted to do was go on

and inspire other women, who were perhaps in

that same place and [say to them that] actually,

exercise is relevant and here is your licence to

be able to go and do that in a safe place that’s

empowering, non-judgemental, warm and

welcoming. I just find that what I do is a real

privilege because there are so many women

who come to my classes that are in a similar

place to where I was when I first started and it’s

a treat to see them just unfold in front of me. The

expressions on their faces - it’s almost like they

can’t quite believe they are doing what they are














Because life is an

uneven playing field

School of Hard Knocks runs courses using sport to tackle

unemployment, anti-social behaviour, crime and poor health. Its

nationwide courses use challenging activities and values-based

lessons to help participants move forward in their lives and take

responsibility for their actions. Mornings are spent on the pitch or

in the gym, and afternoons in the classroom. Life and employment

modules teach values, attitudes and non-technical skills with the

objective of getting each participant into sustainable employment.

An average of 42% of adults find full-time employment from the

courses, with 81% of those sustaining this for at least three

months. The SOHK Schools programme uses rugby to transform

the lives of children who are at risk of exclusion. The programme

offers a long-term intervention to participants who start the

programme at the beginning of Year 9 until they reach their

GCSEs or no longer need help. With marked improvements in

attendance, punctuality and behaviour, 94% of the pupils sit their

GCSEs, having been at risk of not completing them at all at the

start of the programme.


After a lengthy period looking for work and a growing

sense of frustration, Richard was told about the School

of Hard Knocks course by his Job Centre Plus coach.

After deciding to attend Richard took part in boxing and

fitness sessions, plus informative and thought-provoking

workshops. He also received support to develop his

CV and cover letter, whilst understanding opportunities

which he hadn’t considered. He slowly grew in

confidence, although interviews remained difficult. So

Richard took part in mock interviews with the charity’s

corporate partners, enabling him to overcome this

barrier. He said: “If I can do an interview in that

environment then no other interview should be daunting

to me!” Through the continued support given to him

and his own perseverance following the course,

Richard secured an administration apprenticeship

which he is still enjoying and thriving in. He said: “I

would highly recommend SOHK. I have grown in

confidence and don’t let things faze me.”













An apprenticeship programme that helps

young people who are not in education,

employment or training to build a career.

Coach Core is a youth employment

and education programme that affects

true change through sport and physical

activity, working in challenging communities

around the UK. By utilising a bespoke 15-

month, community-facing apprenticeship,

it combines employers and connective

partners in each city or area to create

long-lasting, collaborative working that

benefits everyone involved. Set up with

support from the Royal Foundation, it has

enjoyed six years of success across 10

UK sites, working with more than 90

employers who have gained an apprentice

who adds new energy, diversity and

coach workforce consistency. It also

means the local community gains a

young role model and in 2017 alone,

Coach Core apprentices led or assisted

over 25,000 coaching sessions and had

320,000+ coaching interactions in this

time. Coach Core has changed the lives

of almost 400 young people by giving them

qualifications, training and experiences

unparalleled on any other programme of

this nature. With a 94% success rate and

98% of those graduates going into

full-time employment/education, Coach

Core look forward to bringing this opportunity

to even more cities around the UK.

When Tracey’s classmates wanted to skip a lesson at

school, they would wind her up. They knew how to trigger her

rage. “I wasn’t the nicest of people - always angry,” she says,

looking back five years to before she joined Coach Core. “I

was an angry person with zero goals or ambitions, no role

models and didn’t care about anything, even myself. Life at

home was challenging; I have a very different role to most

people my age in that I help out looking after my siblings.” It

was after finding Coach Core however that Tracey became a

table tennis coach, and then a football coach, and was one of

the first graduates from the initial Coach Core programme,

going on to coach soccer in the United States. Now, she talks

of her “confidence, enthusiasm, bravery, a positive view of life,

a love for helping people”. She adds: “I have become more

driven and always looking to improve or gain qualifications and

experience. There are still things I need to control like

depression and my self-belief, but I am moving in the right














Getting refugees cycling

The Bike Project’s mission is to get refugees cycling, to fix the

social isolation that many refugees can face because of the high

cost of transport. Trying to navigate the complex asylum

process on just £37 a week is complicated. When people have

to choose between eating a meal and catching the bus, a bike

can play a vital role. The Bike Project take second-hand bikes,

fix them up and donate them to refugees and asylum-seekers.

A small proportion of the bikes received go on to be sold

through an online bike shop providing The Bike Project with income.

In five years, 3500 bicycles have been donated, each

one coming with safety accessories (lights, helmet and lock)

and lifetime repairs. The Bike Project also offers volunteering

weekly in its bike workshop to develop skills and talent, and runs

a programme of cycle training for refugee women called ‘Pedal

Power’. Every bike beneficiary is offered the chance to meet up

with their local ‘Bike Buddy’, a volunteer who can help share

safe cycle routes and build confidence cycling in their neighbourhood.

Having fled persecution and atrocities in their country

of origin, refugees can arrive in London with absolutely

nothing so a bike helps them access support from legal advice

to food banks as well as healthcare, education and much more.

If lucky enough to receive official refugee status, a bike can also

help to find employment.

‘C’ is seeking asylum in the UK. She received her bike in 2017,

and began volunteering at The Bike Project’s weekly workshops.

She has gone on to train and qualify as a National Standards

Cycling Instructor, while volunteering every Thursday and assisting

at the Pedal Power cycling lessons. She says: “I was already giving

up on life because I felt lost and couldn’t hold on any more, before

I came in contact with The Bike Project. This was my first point of

recovery and it continued to help me cling on to life as it made me

to feel that I really belonged to a strong community. Little did I know

that it was a journey to my full recovery, with The Bike Project

enrolling me for a course to make me a fully-qualified instructor. My

life now has a purpose and I can proudly say I have become a

useful person to the world at last. What I have learned so far is that

you should never waste any opportunity that comes your way. Keep

going, keep pushing... don’t stop pedalling whenever you are riding

on the bicycle of life!”











Produced by ConnectSport on behalf of the Sport for Development Coalition, Autumn 2018.

To register your organisation for free on the ConnectSport directory, contact


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