Street Elite Festivals 2019
June saw a bumper month for the Street Elite Intervention graduation festivals. Over 750 schoolchildren from across London got the chance to enjoy a variety of sports, while the Street Elite participants used the skills learned over the months of training and community outreach to lead on activities and also enjoy a well deserved celebration of their achievements before they get down to the real business of securing a career. Here is a short review of how the festivals went.
The festival season got underway at Bartlett park, Poplar, where we marked the graduation of participants from our Street Elite Poplar cohort. Children from local schools enjoyed a variety of sports including some new editions such as Zorb football and netball. Former heavyweight champion of the world Frank Bruno was in attendance and had this to say about the programme:
“I grew up in London. It can be a tough city and talented young people can go off the tracks. Street Elite is about giving them a focus and real self-belief. It’s a life-changing project and shows the huge power of sport and mentoring. Together they can strengthen your mind, your self-esteem and connect you with other people. It’s important for young men to come together and talk openly about their wellbeing.” Read more about the day in this East London Advertiser article.
Unfortunately June in England can be a temperamental time with the weather, as anyone who watched the Cricket World Cup will attest to. A pretty poor period met with the scheduled date for the 2nd festival at Westway Sports Centre near White City in West London so, sadly, it was cancelled.
The 3rd Street Elite Festival of the festival season was in Newham, at Little Ilford Park. The day was a great success, thanks to the hard work of the TCF team and our partners, The Berkeley Foundation. In attendance were councillor’s from Newham Council, Project Directors from the Berkeley group as well as Street Elite Alumni and friends of the programme, Irfan Ayub and Zubeir Raja. Young people from a variety of schools took place in a varied selection of sporting activates delivered by TCF staff and external sporting professionals such as GB Boxing and West Ham FC.
Newham also houses a Prevention cohort. Street Elite Prevention provides weekly sessions for 14 weeks that combine sport and skills for work for those still in Full-time education. Young people are also provided with placements, industry speakers and mentoring. See here for a piece on their graduation.
On a beautiful day boasting 25 degrees we had our final Street Elite festival of the year, this time in Lambeth, home to our female cohort. Our female cohort, focuses on recruiting young mothers who are looking for an opportunity to improve their post-natal fitness as well as re-discover their self-confidence and sense of overall wellbeing. The programme focuses on goal setting for personal development as well as increasing aspirations for the future and providing opportunities to obtain valuable work experience and potential careers.
With the sun shining down on Kennington Park, we had students from local Schools attend as well as our friends from England Boxing, Impact Dance, Chelsea FC and Bump2Bump. Pop-star and TV presenter Jamelia Davis was present to talk about her own personal experiences of overcoming the challenges of balancing a career whilst bringing up a young family. Alongside Chairman of the Berkeley Group Tony Pidgley CBE, presenting the cohort with their certificates, Jamelia was really impressed with the work these young women put in. Read the Berkeley Foundation report on the day.
All in all it has been a wonderful month of festivals. Thank you to all the staff, partners, friends, children, and most of all Street Elite participants, who have made them all real successes. From here the participants will take part in tailored work experience, relevant to their interests and experience, and which gives them the best chance of a lasting career, not just a job. Good luck to all.
For more information on Street Elite, please contact Ross Defoe