Wiltshire Based Sports Project Wins National Award

Children at Bath Rugby game as part of project

Children at Bath Rugby game as part of project

A successful initiative which brought sporting opportunities to the doorsteps of hard-to-reach areas in Salisbury has received national recognition.

The Friary Doorstep Sports Club began on the estate of the same name in September last year. The scheme, delivered by Wiltshire Council, provided weekly sports sessions for 30 plus 13- 25 year olds in the area who would not normally be involved in sport.

During the sessions the young people have tried out football, touch rugby, street dance sessions and paintballing. One highlight was young people taking part in a rugby demonstration at half time at the recent Aviva Premiership rugby match between Bath Rugby & Saracens.

The scheme has now been nationally recognised with the club winning the accolade of ‘Most Innovative Doorstep Sports Club’ at the StreetGames national awards at Warwick University.

The project is part of a national programme to deliver 1,000 doorstep sports clubs across the country in communities considered amongst the most deprived in the UK and receives funding through the StreetGames network. Following the success of The Friary project, funding has now been allocated to start up additional doorstep clubs in Chippenham and Trowbridge.

Jane Ashworth OBE, Chief Executive of StreetGames said. “The Friary project fully deserves this award. It’s not always easy to step outside the box and think of something new and this is why we include this category at our awards to recognise those projects that do something a little different. What the Friary project has done will inspire other projects in the StreetGames network to follow suit.”

Jonathon Seed, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for leisure said: “Having sports opportunities right on their doorstep has made a real difference to these young people and I’m delighted the scheme has been such a success. It’s important that people can enjoy healthy, active and high quality lives. We will now be taking this winning formula and using it in other areas where we hope to mirror the success of this current scheme.”