On Monday 17th July, a group of staff members and young people from the Positive Youth Foundation attended the West Midlands Police Sports Awards in Birmingham. The event was to highlight the power of sport within communities, and how sport can become a catalyst for social change.
The Positive Youth Foundation have used sports programmes as a vehicle to remove barriers for young people to get involved in various different sports. Sports also allows for opportunities to create positive opportunities, develop role models and embed a feeling of local pride and involvement in their local community.
We were nominated for two awards on the night; the ‘Power of Sport’ and the ‘Project of the Year’ awards.
The ‘Power of Sport’ award looks to celebrate an individual who has made significant improvements in their life and has had a positive impact on others around them due to their participation in sport. As part of our focus on inclusion, we delivered a Sports Leadership qualification to a group of newly arrived Syrian young people in order to enhance their confidence whilst also providing them with their first UK qualification.
During the course of the qualifications delivery, we saw an outstanding amount of leadership, but none more so than in one family. For this family, 15 year-old Batoul and her two brothers, Mustafa and Abdullah, taking part in sport has proven to be a signification catalyst for development.
All three have since volunteered with us at PYF, leading sports sessions at our half-term programmes and even becoming ambassadors for other newly arrived young people in Coventry.
For our ‘Project of the Year’ nomination, in which we came 2nd, we spoke about our free holiday programme, which engages over 300 young people in a variety of free activities; including sport, music and arts.
Using sport as a catalyst, we focussed on using sport to develop volunteering opportunities, such as in the case of Batoul to develop their sense of belonging in their new communities. Providing newly arrived young people with positive experiences in sports has allowed a further 100 young people to move from targeted provision into open-access sessions.
Our Chairman, Dean Kavanagh, said “Using positive activities to create social change is something which we at PYF specialise in. These awards are testament to the power of community programmes and the impact that they have on young people’s lives. We are very proud of the achievements of the young people on our programmes. They have shown determination and incredible resilience to get to where they are. We thank our supporters for enabling these opportunities”