BEST SPORTS COMMUNITY SCHEME – NON-CLUB
Bloomsbury Football Foundation
Bloomsbury Football Foundation is a registered charity based in Camden. This year, our main focus has been our expansive and wide-ranging ‘Changing the Game Programme’. The central mission of this project is to use football as a tool by which to improve the lives of children across London – and, importantly, to equalize access to the sport by removing the barriers presented by gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic background.
Bloomsbury coaches initially engage children and young people in football through free-to-access community sessions in schools and on lower-income housing estates (our ‘Activating Estates scheme’), before providing them with ‘pay-what-you-can’ bursary places on our Foundation and Academy teams (which train and compete on a weekly basis). In so doing, we provide an accessible pathway into increasingly rigorous and challenging sporting opportunities.
We never turn a child away due to their financial circumstances. By removing the cost-barrier, this model allows us to reach thousands of traditionally ‘hard-to-reach’ young people each and every week.
Bloomsbury sessions work to improve physical health and mental well-being, as well as fostering transferable soft skills and improving off-pitch behaviour. Our CTG Programme levels the playing field for young Londoners, fostering holistic improvements in participants’ lives.
Chevron Soccer Academy
The Chevron Soccer Academy was established to create accessible soccer opportunities for youth and to provide the proper resources, knowledge, and support system for players to learn and grow. As an integral part of the community for over a century, Chevron is committed to building lasting partnerships that help youth thrive both on and off the pitch.
Alongside our partners, Alianza de Futbol (owned by For Soccer Ventures), the Los Angeles Football Club and the San Jose Earthquakes, CSA provides opportunities for underserved youth in diverse communities and tackles the pay to play model at a time when socioeconomic hardships can limit youth from competing in the sport they love.
NOC COMPETITION UNIFORM SUPPORT PROGRAMME – INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE & WORLD FEDERATION OF SPORTING GOODS INDUSTRY
The National Olympic Committee Uniform Support Programme (NOC USP) is a joint solidarity initiative – the product of an innovative collaboration between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), enabled by a unique coalition of the WFSGI members, some of the world’s leading sports goods brands.
The aim of the programme is to provide free, high-quality technical uniforms to athletes whose NOCs are unable to procure it, thereby ensuring no athlete at the Games is left behind.
Across Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022, more than 500 Olympians from 73 nations benefitted from the programme, allowing them not only to compete at the Games, but to compete with pride wearing their national colours and the latest sports goods product – and so to compete on an equal playing field with their peers from around the world.
Beyond the impact on participating athletes, the programme also serves as a statement and driver of access and inclusion within the communities involved.
Virtual Runner UK
Virtual Runner is a community based platform which motivates individuals to exercise whilst raising money for charity. On completion of a wide variety of challenges (which aren’t limited to running, but sport in general), participants are sent a medal so they can be extra proud of their achievements.
The events can be completed at any time, any where in the world which means barriers to enter are reduced and means the platform is suitable for all ages and abilities. This includes beginners and more experienced athletes.
The initiative is run by a one-woman band and to date has raised over £700,000 for charity (the next goal is £1,000,000). Virtual Runner has supported a wide range of charities which are nominated by the community.
Community is at the heart of Virtual Runner and when they aren’t out exercising, they are often found engaging with other like-minded individuals on social media. All resulting in an increased desire to exercise to improve their mental and physical health.