The Times and The Sunday Times
Sported was delighted to be chosen by The Times and The Sunday Times for the 2020 Christmas Charity Appeal. It provided a huge opportunity for Sported to promote the work of our groups who make up the Sported network and secondly, to raise much needed funds for Sported to continue to provide its services free of charge to all 2,600 member groups across the UK.
Sported helps community sports groups to survive and thrive, so that the power of sport can help young people overcome challenges, from mental health struggles and disability to exclusion from school, crime, racism and physical inactivity.
All donations to Sported through the appeal, up to a total of £150,000, were generously matched by the Black Heart and Rind foundations.
Read the stories featured in The Times and The Sunday Times to find out how sport is helping young people overcome challenges in their lives.
Andrew had been excluded from school, had run-ins with the police and feared that his next step in life would be going to prison. But now, thanks to the support he’s received from HR Sports Academy, he sees the promise of a brighter future. And he was given the opportunity to meet Eric Dier, a dream come true for a lifelong Tottenham fan!
An advert for a rugby session changed Leon’s life. It was fixed to a wall at Wormwood Scrubs prison in west London, where he was being held on remand. Leon, who was on cleaning duty at the time and was desperate for a break from the monotony of his daily life, signed up immediately. The experience proved transformative.
Luke had been experiencing deep instability at home. A good day at school was one where he didn’t run away. Thanks to Oarsome Chance, he has found a purpose, confidence and leadership skills. It got him off the streets and gave him a chance at life.
Sir Keith Mills GBE DL
For a man who did not get involved in sport until he was well into his fifties, Sir Keith Mills has done a remarkable job of making his mark. Sir Keith, a serial entrepreneur, says his key role in winning and hosting the 2012 Olympic Games “opened a whole new world” of sport and philanthropy and led him to setting up Sported.
If you find yourself on Sandy Bay, Porthcawl, you’ll probably spot Logan walking out of the freezing November waves with a surfboard under his arm and a beaming smile. As someone with Asperger’s syndrome, Karma Seas’ group surfing sessions have helped him to better understand people’s behaviours and be himself.
Reece had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and is dyslexic, which meant that school was a tough environment for him. His grandfather brought him to the Northern Ireland Cross Community Angling Club several years ago. Fishing has had a huge impact on his life.
Fowzia and Faiza are sisters who arrived in the UK from Syria last year. Speaking little English, they felt lost and spent much of their time at home. Both say that boxing has given them confidence and the opportunity to meet people, and they now have a bright future ahead of them.
Ebony Horse Club
Khadijah sat on a racehorse for the first time last summer. Two months later she defied the odds to win the Magnolia Cup, a charity race for amateur jockeys at the Goodwood Festival. It was the third time she had ever galloped, and the first time a British Muslim jockey, wearing a hijab under her helmet, had triumphed in a competitive race. Suddenly a whole new world broke open for the young woman.
Brighton Table Tennis Club is where people from all backgrounds and communities mix – refugees, ex-cons, people with Down’s syndrome, those who are unemployed, those who just want a game of table tennis and even players of international standard. This place is about so much more than table tennis.
RollaDome uses skating activities to help support young people dealing with challenges including children who have been excluded from school, those who have suffered bullying and ending a gang war. It is helping thousands of young people to get back on their feet, not just from falls while skating, but also in life.
Boots & Beards
Boots & Beards was started in 2016 and since then, over 1,000 Asian youngsters and their families have been introduced to the benefits of hiking – and learnt a huge amount about themselves at the same time.
The Blair Project
When Bradley was considering career options at school, the job of groundsman was the height of his ambition. He loved maths and science but struggled in subjects such as English. Being placed in foster care at the age of seven had an impact on his behaviour. But an introduction to go-karting changed everything.
Shayne’s mobility is affected by HSP (hereditary spastic paralysis), a rare genetic disorder that causes weakness in the leg muscles and deteriorates over time. Joining the Dragons has given him self-belief. He was one of the players who won the first Junior NBA Wheelchair Basketball League title in Scotland last year.
A record £2.85 million has been donated so far by readers and philanthropists to The Times and The Sunday Times Christmas Appeal to support charities working to tackle challenges made more acute by the Covid-19 pandemic.
How did your money help?