Date published: 21/03/2013
Triple Olympic medallist Louis Smith MBE has teamed up with Barclays to go back to his hometown of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire to take part in their latest ‘My Space for Sport’ campaign video.
Smith, who was one of the stars of the London 2012 Olympics and recently was crowned winner of Strictly Come Dancing, went down memory lane by visiting the skatepark in Cleve Place, Peterborough where he used to play sport as a teenager before heading to the Barclays Spaces for Sports site at Manor Leisure Centre, Whittlesey, where he had a kick about with AFC Whittlesey Girls Under-16s who train at the facility.
Barclays ‘My Space for Sport’ campaign continues to raise awareness of its community sports programme, Barclays Spaces for Sports. The campaign draws upon leading sports stars, actors, and musicians to share the places that they first played sport and highlight the facilities that now are available through the Barclays initiative, providing sustainable sports sites to disadvantaged communities.
Speaking about the day, Smith said: “For quite a few years now, my life has been pretty manic, pretty non-stop and coming back to Peterborough there are a lot of good memories. The Barclays Spaces for Sports site in Whittlesey is only about 15 minutes from where I used to play sport and it would have been great to have a place like that when I was growing up.
“My parents would have really approved as well, as parents always want their kids to be in a safe environment. Sport is a very unique and key skill. It teaches kids to be involved with group activities, socialising in a safe environment and that's exactly what Barclays has provided.”
Smith joins England rugby star Chris Ashton, TV presenter and Radio 1 DJ Vernon Kay, Everton FC midfielder Jack Rodwell, Hollywood actor Idris Elba and world-famous DJ Norman Jay MBE who share their first space for sport exclusively on Barclays Football Facebook and YouTube channels.
Since its launch in the UK in 2004 with partners the Football Foundation, Barclays Spaces for Sports has created 200 sports sites in disadvantaged areas across the UK benefiting half a million people.
In 2008 it was extended globally with further sites and projects already established in South Africa, the United States, the UK, Spain, Zambia, Zimbabwe, China, Hong Kong and India. More than £37m has been committed to the programme since 2004.
See other ambassadors, including Idris Elba and Chris Ashton’s first space for sport at www.youtube.com/barclaysfootballtv