A charity which helps vulnerable people in the Midlands has scooped a £373,427 Lottery grant to introduce more Birmingham people to the world of sport.
Trident Reach the People Charity, together with a number of partner organisations, has won the award from Sport England’s Community Sports Activation Fund.
The money will be used to deliver a sports development project aimed at breaking down barriers to get more people aged 14 and over involved in sporting activities.
Birmingham City and England footballer Karen Carney joined civic dignitaries to launch the ‘Heart of Birmingham Sport for All’ project at Aston Powerleague yesterday (Thursday).
Solihull-born Karen, who has represented England 88 times and competed in the British team at the 2012 Olympics, said she was delighted to support such a project and hoped it would get more girls interested in football.
The project will involve Trident Reach working with partners – Heart of Birmingham Community Sport and Physical Activity Network (CSPAN), Start-Again Project CIC and Legacy West Midlands – to deliver a range of events and activities in various venues across Perry Barr and Ladywood.
Taking place over the next three years, activities will include basketball, badminton, bicycle motocross, boxing, cricket, dance, football, gymnastics, martial arts and tennis.
The aim is to remove barriers to sport and physical activity, encouraging people from all backgrounds who have never played sports before – including homeless people and members of ethnic minorities – to give them a try.
Some of the Lottery cash is paying for five development workers who will go out into communities to get people engaged in the activities on offer.
Caroline Berry, Head of Health and Wellbeing at Trident Reach, said: “The Perry Barr and Ladywood districts have the lowest levels of participation in sports in Birmingham.
“Our Heart of Birmingham Sports for All project will enhance the city’s successful CSPAN initiative by establishing easily accessible pathways for young people and adults to engage in sports for life.”
Trident Reach provides housing, care and support services to vulnerable people with a range of needs across the Midlands region, including homeless people, those with disabilities or mental health problems, the elderly and people fleeing domestic abuse.
Mike Diaper, Sport England Director of Community Sport, said: “The investment being made through the Community Sport Activation Fund is making a real difference at a very local level and it’s great to be working with Trident Reach to offer people the chance to get into sport in a way that best suits them.”