2018 Highlights

As Sported’s tenth anniversary year draws to a close and we post our final blog of 2018, we’ve asked some of the team to share their highlights from the year…


Kathryn James, South West Regional Manager:

Kathryn James, Sported


“As a new staff member this year, my highlight has been…well all of it! I have met and been welcomed by over 75 member groups from Cornwall to Gloucester, along to Swindon and down to Bournemouth. It’s been fantastic to meet so many inspirational, passionate people. This also includes getting to know some equally hard working and wonderful people – our volunteers, eight of which are new to Sported in the South West this year.”



Sported Scotland team:

Dan Fyffe-Jardine

“The highlight of our year was hosting our Sported 10th Anniversary stakeholder event on the 2nd October at the Oriam – particularly fitting, as it coincided with the Year of Young People in Scotland.


The event was a great success with over 50 guests in attendance as the Minister for Sport, Health and Wellbeing, Joe Fitzpatrick, outlined the importance of sport as a catalyst for changing young lives. However it was the Young Influencers from our Project 51 programme – Phoenix, Rhiann and Sophie – that stole the show, as they spoke to the audience about the challenges they had faced when taking part in sport and explained how this project had inspired and changed them.”


Sported Northern Ireland team:


Brenda Kelly, Sported

Judith Rankin, Sported

“One of our highlights was the launch of Include, our new pilot programme in partnership with Angel Eyes, thanks to the generous support of Department for Communities, Sport NI, St James Place and the Big Lottery. It builds on our work making sport more accessible to all, and will strengthen the capacity of our members to better engage young people with visual impairment. It’s fantastic to bring together our knowledge and networks in grassroots sports with Angel Eyes’ own specialist expertise. It’s also created new opportunities for our volunteers to develop their insight on disability and help our members embed it into their day-to-day activities.”


Sophie Tobin, West Midlands Regional Manager:


Sophie Tobin, SportedProject 51 came along at the perfect time for my members. It’s fitted in with their strategic aims to engage more women and girls and they’ve all really embraced it, particularly around consulting their female members about their needs and listening to their views around what could be done to improve the overall experience. As a result, I’m delighted the impact of the programme is already being seen. For example, new girl-only sessions been launched, marketing materials have been adapted and sanitary products provided so girls feel more confident and comfortable attending training.”


Matt Shaw, Media & External Affairs Manager:


Matt Shaw, Sported“In the place where Mourinho failed this year, the launch of our TSB Young Leaders programme triumphed! Old Trafford provided the perfect setting for bringing together a group of highly talented and passionate young coaches, volunteers and youth workers from Sported member groups across the UK. They were joined by Olympic Taekwondo silver medalist Lutalo Muhammad, who shared his inspirational journey to the top, and enjoyed a range of workshops to support their roles as young role models and leaders at their respective groups and clubs.”


Mark Bingley, England Regional Support Manager:


Mark Bingley, Sported“In 2018 we were able to introduce ‘Kick Start‘, our new service to help our members who are unsure of what support they need, and a real highlight was being able to get several volunteers involved in the process of developing it and piloting the calls. The feedback from members so far has been really positive and hopefully in 2019 many more members will be able to access this support and benefit from the wide range of skills and expertise in our volunteer team.”


Debra Barklin, Third Sector Skills Project Development Officer (North Wales):


Debra Barklin, Sported“My highlight has been engaging with some amazing volunteers who are working extremely hard in their communities to help young people with limited resource. It has been a privilege to support them and help make a difference to what they are doing. It has also been great to sign up 9 new amazing mentors all of whom have very different backgrounds and skills to support our members. We are starting to make a difference in North Wales communities which has always been a passion of mine.”


Sanaa Qureshi, London Programme Manager:


Sanaa Qureshi, Sported“The inaugural Big Half took place earlier this year and as a Community Engagement team, Hamid and I have spent lots of time building on what we achieved and looking ahead to next year’s event. Our marketing campaign has focused on celebrating local people from across London, each sharing their stories about how running has changed them and in turn, we hope, demonstrating that running is for everybody.”





Finally, it leaves us to say a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to and read the Sported blog this year. On behalf of the Sported team, have a fantastic Christmas break and we look forward to seeing you again here in the New Year!