Youngsters in Wolverhampton, Manchester, Bolton and Blackburn are set to gain a sports leadership qualification that could help them become the professional coaches of the future thanks to a partnership with BT Sport’s charitable initiative, The Supporters Club (TSC) and the England Footballers Foundation (EFF).
A grant of £250,000 has been awarded to OnSide Youth Zones from The Supporters Club and EFF to deliver a sports employability project with around 400 young people aged 13-21 set to benefit from the funding across its network of state-of-the-art facilities.
Members of the four Youth Zones will have the opportunity to take part in an eight-week course and gain either a Level 1 Coaching Award or a Sports Leadership Qualification awarded by Sports Leaders UK.
The programme; ‘E3 – Enable, Educate, Empower’ aims to give youngsters the opportunity to progress into employment, education or training in order to pursue careers in sport.
Participants will develop the confidence, skills and experience to then deliver their own coaching sessions in a sport of their choice to other young people in the Youth Zone areas.
The partnership with EFF and BT Sport will also enable young people to take part in workplace taster days, a range of sporting activities and have the opportunity to meet and be inspired by members of the England football team.
Simon Green, Head of BT Sport, BT said: “The Supporters Club aims to build a better world by bringing people together through sport. OnSide Youth Zones is a fantastic example of this and we’re really pleased to be supporting their work.”
Jennifer Cox, of the England Footballers Foundation, said: “The England Footballers Foundation and The Supporters Club are a great fit as we share a similar vision to put smiles on faces, raise awareness of particular issues and promote positive change.
“Working together with OnSide at their amazing network of Youth Zones is an exciting opportunity to help make a meaningful difference to the lives of young people across the country."
OnSide Youth Zones Network Director, Helen Taylor, said: “The sporting industry is an extremely popular area that many young people would like to work in but it’s also one of the most difficult to break in to.
“This course will give them the opportunity to become professional coaches of the future and we’re extremely grateful to EFF and The Supporters Club for their support to allow us to champion another employability scheme within our area.”
E3 complements OnSide Youth Zones’ own employability scheme; ‘Get a Job’ which is also delivered across the OnSide Youth Zone network. It ensures that 16-19 year olds develop the skills they need to succeed in the workplace, from coaching around CV-writing and job interviews to taking on work placements with local businesses.
BT is a long-term supporter of sport-for-change projects and aims to generate more than £1 billion for good causes by 2020. Through The Supporters Club, more than £6m has been raised and thousands of young lives enhanced in the UK and overseas.
The Supporters Club aims to build a better world by bringing people together through sport. Donations from BT and our customers are invested into projects selected in partnership with Comic Relief.
BT has also been a long-term supporter of good causes and disability organisations such as Children In Need, Sport Relief, the British Paralympic Association and the GB Wheelchair Rugby team. Furthermore, BT is a supporter of the ‘100% Sport’ initiative – a collaboration with the likes of Sir Ben Ainslie calling on sports fans to take action for a more sustainable world.