The Barclays Spaces for Sports programme was able to offer the opportunity
of a lifetime to keen participants from sites that the programme created –
becoming a mascot at a Premier League match.
12 year old Khalid from Saltley in Birmingham led out AstonVilla for their 2–1
victory overWest Ham United atVilla Park. Khalid regularly attends sessions at
his local Barclays Spaces for Sports site in Bordesley Green and despite being
a big AstonVilla fan, had never been to a Premier League game before.
Khalid said:
“Being an official Barclays mascot was a dream come true.
I like playing football and it was really fun to get to go on to the pitch at
Villa Park.”
11 year old Declan from Leigh, walked out on to the pitch at the DW
Stadium, asWigan Athletic overcame Newcastle United 2–1. Declan was
selected by the Barclays Spaces for Sports flagship site, the OldTrafford Sports
Barn in Manchester, because he is a keen goalkeeper and an avidWigan fan.
Declan was able to meet his hero,Wigan keeper,Ali Al-Habsi, who
“I’m delighted that local kids have the opportunity to get
involved in regular football coaching and that Declan has had the chance to
be the mascot for our match against Newcastle United.”
Declan said:
“I had a brilliant day being an official Barclays mascot. I don’t
think I will ever forget walking on to the pitch at the DW Stadium.”
In 2011, the Barclays Spaces for Sports programme launched the Sustainability Fund to
support its 200 UK sites for the long-term. Since then it has awarded 25 grants totalling
almost £400,000, the most recent of which was awarded to the Hamsterley Mountain
Bike Circuit.
The HamsterleyTrailblazers, a community cycling group from Hamsterley Forest, Bishop
Auckland, secured a grant worth £10,000 from Barclays Spaces for Sports in order to fund
new coaching qualifications for volunteers and to deliver a range of inclusive community
cycle sessions.
Oliver Graham,Vice Chairman of the HamsterleyTrailblazers, said:
“We are delighted that
Barclays Spaces for Sports has once again chosen to invest in the Hamsterley Trailblazers.
The funding will help to build community cohesion by increasing volunteering and
participation in physical activity.”
Helen Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, said:
“This new investment from Barclays Spaces
for Sports is great news as it will support the fantastic work of the site’s staff and it will
also help to engage more volunteers.”
Durham County Council and Greenhill Wheels Park in Sheffield have also recently received
grants from the Sustainability Fund.The money will boost a diverse range of sports in each
area including BMX riding, skateboarding, and tennis.
| The Football Foundation Magazine | Issue 32
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