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The difference we can all make

We have been working in Barking & Dagenham for a number of years. It is one of the least active boroughs in the country and residents suffer from a host of wellbeing issues as a result. Our aim is to work with the local authority, bringing corporate support, to bring communities together in programmes which inspire, even those that consider themselves as ‘not sporty’ to get active.

One of the teachers we work with in the borough tell the story of the difference made to one girl’s life, thanks to the patience encouragement of a volunteer from Lloyds.

“We just bought a regular class, so mixed abilities. One child wasn’t looking forward to it and when we got to our first session, which was basketball drills she was nearly in tears. She wouldn’t join in and I kept trying to encourage her and she just had her fingers in her mouth, really nervous, not prepared to try in front of the other children. Our team leader, Osay, was a volunteer from Lloyds. He sat down next to her and told her she could do it and to give her more confidence, he practised with her to one side. Eventually he went with her onto the pitch and she started playing, cautiously at first, but you could see her confidence grow with every time she touched the ball and heard him cheer her on. Ever since then, we can’t stop her. She’s the first to get the ball, she’s tried everything and even when there were too many people to play rugby and we asking for volunteers to sit to one side, she was adamant that she would stay on the pitch. It brought out personality traits I hadn’t seen in her previously!

It’s a huge change to what we’ve seen before… I’ve known her get stomach aches when she’s had to stand up in front of people. And now we can’t stop her. She’s been playing badminton at a local club ever since the festival with Lloyds, and we’ve seen her confidence growing. So for her, this has been a programme beyond belief, really, so thank you.”

From Ana Kelly – Manor Junior P.E Co-ordinator

At SportInspired, we passionately in encouraging those moments of support, that will change lives permanently. It was our own experience of this that made us start SportInspired and the experiences we see, such as this story, that keep us motivated to develop our work and partnerships across the UK and Ireland. If you would like to share your stories of how SportInspired Games have transformed lives, we’d love to hear from you: celebrate@sportinspired.org

Anna Springbett
Director of Stakeholder Impact