On 10 February, Olympic Champion and Youth Sport Trust Ambassador Jason Gardener met with 90 teenagers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities to inspire them to play an active role in the sports provision in their local areas.
Through a range of dynamic workshops and talks from motivational speakers at the Future Leaders event, the participants found out how to have direct input into sports management and governance both now and in their developing careers. The day-long event was run in partnership with Sporting Equals, an organisation that promotes ethnic diversity in sport and is also the national partner of Sport England.
Sixteen-year-old Deborah Conteh from East London took part to hone her skills and further develop a women’s Basketball team in her neighbourhood. She was recommended the programme by her teacher as a way of helping her meet people who have the same goals as her.
I really enjoyed the Future Sport Leaders event. I believe that more people should attend events like this because they help young people like me to meet others who have a similar mindset or aspirations so you can share your experiences with them.
“It’s also a great opportunity to train and develop a range of communication skills as well as make contacts with other people who can help you in the future after the event has taken place.”
Farhan Kazi, who is Head of Year 11 at Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School in Blackburn brought a group of his students and praised the event for providing an inspiring and interactive day which created a real buzz amongst his students.
He said: “The day was very eventful, engaging and successful for myself as a member of staff and also for my young leaders. I applaud the world class hospitality and the charming welcome by the staff on the day. We would definitely look to attend this event again in the future.”
One of his students, Zaid Mall, added:
The day was wicked. It was amazing to listen to six different inspirational speakers talk about how I can am able to lead my locality into a bright future in sport. I thought it was only in my area that it was challenging to take part in sport but I saw people from areas like mine being successful and I want to be like them.
Georgina Osibodu (16) from Oxford said:
I loved the event. It was so inspirational and made me believe that I could do anything. Hearing stories from the athletes and how they amounted from nothing to something made me feel like I could do that too. Future Sports Leaders has given me the push I needed to get started in what I want to do, which is to start training to be a basketball coach so I can set up a club for girls. It has also helped my communication skills so that I will be able to talk to important people with confidence in myself and in what I'm saying. It has also made me feel that I should take every sporting opportunity I have or get given because I know that there are so many BAME girls who don't have the same opportunities that I am lucky to have.
Youth Sport Trust runs various programmes and initiatives to engage with people from BAME communities to provide opportunities to succeed in all areas of sport. In support of this, Youth Sport Trust is sponsoring the Young Sportsperson of the Year category at the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSAs), which take place in March.
Click here for more information on Future Sport Leaders.