The Club of the Year Award – supported by Wembley Stadium Meetings and Events

The London Sport Awards 2018, taking place at Wembley Stadium on the evening of 8 March 2018, are the biggest celebration of grassroots sport in the capital.

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General View of Wembley Stadium prior to England vs. Russia in UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying Fixture

From a very competitive nominations pool, a final shortlist of three projects have been announced as in the running for the Club of the Year Award. Here’s a little more about them.

BIGKID Foundation 

BIGKID Foundation is a Lambeth-based charity that exists to help young people in South London at risk of social exclusion and youth violence. Their Community Engagement Programme uses sport as a tool to engage hardest to reach young people in more positive activities. Their Community Engagement Programme run boys and girls football and tennis sessions, boys basketball and futsal sessions, as well as a multi-sport youth club for girls, with a boys youth club to be piloted in January 2018. These sessions keep their beneficiaries active and cultivate relevant sporting skills, whilst helping young people to develop positive life skills, such as role modelling, positive affirmation, anger management and by rewarding good behaviour.

BIGKID also seeks to promote mental wellbeing by focusing on the holistic development of all participants, by encouraging the development of positive life skills, using the techniques mentioned above. BIGKID also promotes mental wellbeing by creating a family environment, where every one feels that they are able to share. Participants on this programme are informally mentored by the coaches, but can also be referred to the organisation’s formal mentoring programme, which provides them with more specific help and attention.

BIGKID Foundation

Core Sport

Core Sport is a department of Core Arts, an adult mental health charity based in Hackney. They offer sports provisions six days a week with a varied programme, that has something to suit everyone. Core Sports was launched in April 2015 to provide opportunities to adults with mental health needs to participate and engage in inclusive and supportive sporting provisions to those who often lead a sedentary and isolated lifestyle. As well as their weekly timetable, they have also been able to offer their members one-off sport specific trips (water rafter, Velodrome track cycling and live sports events) and also a competitive element in-house and with other organisations in sports such as Tennis, Table Tennis, Football and Athletics. Their mission is to promote positive mental health and well-being through sport to overcome barriers, fulfil their potential to achieve their personal goals and aspirations and make a full contribution to society. Since the launch in 2015, they have worked hard at developing partnerships with other mental health services such as the NHS, NGB’s, Local Authorities and other organisations such as Lee Valley, Better (GLL), Arsenal FC, West Ham Utd and Leyton Orient. They also create progressive pathways with these partnerships for their members to continue physical activity outside their service.

Core Sport rely heavily on volunteers and in particular progressing members to become member-volunteers who they upskill. Thereby, they invested in NGB qualifications and NVQ’s to provide opportunities to volunteer within Core, but also with outside organistations as Motivate East as well as at large sporting events such as Wimbledon and the ATP Masters at the O2. This scheme has also led to part-time and full-time employment within the sports industry for some, providing a sense of worth and opportunity to give back and make a contribution.


Out to Swim

Out to Swim Swimming Club is a London masters swimming club for the LGBTQ+ community and others who appreciate its atmosphere and supportive environment. This allows members to combat homophobia and discrimination in a number of ways and is a visible and positive challenge to the stereotypes and prejudice. Its presence in swimming circles helps others focus on homophobic behaviour whether unwitting or otherwise. Out to Swim offers a robust programme from adult learn to swim, synchronised swimming, waterpolo, open water swimming through to competitive swimming. The majority of those who join the club do so because of previous negative experiences of homophobia in Swimming. With a membership of over 450 members the club continues to strive to improve, build and support underrepresented groups and in doing so have run swimming lessons targeted at groups considered to be at a disadvantage within the community – including lessons for women only, HIV+ swimmers and BME people and are now supporting TAGS the transgender swimming group by funding a bi monthly session with a swimming teacher that works with the group. This has resulted in a small number joining the club. The club is also very supportive of disabled swimmers and has had a Paralympian swimming with the club. These swimmers have helped to break down barriers with in the club and wider swimming community.

The club established the very first mixed synchronised swimming team in the country and has been instrumental in playing an active role in promoting male participation in synchro and campaigning for gender equality at synchro competitions in the UK and abroad. It is now one of only four clubs in England where male swimmers compete in synchro swimming. In 2017, the club ran a Synchro Challenge, a 6-month course for adult beginners, focusing on male swimmers and supported by Swim England, with 30 of the participants being male participants.

Out to Swim Swimming Club

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