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Sports for Development support via BS4C Covid Response Fund

TWCP have recently been awarded £5,000 from the Covid Response Fund from the Barking Sports for Change Coalition (part of the Model City London initiative supported by the GLA, Laureus Sport and the Nike Foundation) to help support local groups we are working with to achieve their Sports for Development goals. As part of its initial BS4C grant TWCP enabled a number of local groups to engage in introductory workshops with Jason McKoy, a Sports Consultant and founder of Mercurial Sports, who helped introduce the concept of sports for development and offer some constructive ideas on how to incorporate this approach into the work they are doing in the community. 
 
Receiving this Covid response fund allows TWCP to fund a more sustained piece of engagement between Jason and two of the most active groups he engaged with earlier on in the process, Mum’s on a Mission and Creative Wellness (led by local residents Vanessa Raimundo and Khushnood Ahmed respectively). Each organisation has shown real dedication both to the community in which they live and serve as well as to the principles of Sports for Development and their desire to continue to improve their practice and strengthen their organisations to help better support the people of Thames Ward and the wider Barking and Dagenham area and over the coming months Jason will spend more time supporting and guiding each organisation on how to embed Sports for Development principles into their everyday practice. 

Sports for Development is an overused and sometimes misunderstood concept. It is the difference between sport for sporting outcomes such as fitness, competition or enjoyment, for example. Or using the sporting activity not only for these points, but to actively and in a clear and structured way, help develop other aspects of the participants taking part. This can be from raising awareness on a topic to improving training and employment opportunities. One of the biggest challenges for new and developing projects is knowing how to capture and demonstrate the impact of the work being done with the participants taking part. Supporting TWCP and the projects that are developing in the area, will ensure that these projects make the most of the great work they are doing, and can demonstrate this to wider stakeholders. This can help open other avenues to them including funding which can of course help with sustainability. Helping projects understand just how impactful their work is, is something often overlooked and taken for granted. There are so many ‘Sport for Development’ projects that on closer scrutiny are actually just doing ‘sport’, with little actual ‘Development’ work at all.

Jason Mckoy, Mercurial Sports

Photo credit: Mums on a Mission