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European Lotteries Sport Award 2018 Winners

Sport 4 Life is delighted to be named winners of the European Lotteries Sport Award 2018. European Lotteries (EL) is the umbrella organisation of national lotteries across Europe, operating games of chance for the public benefit. Each year the commission launches a European-wide Sports Award. The EL Sports Award (along with €5,000 prize money) is offered to a non-for-profit organisation that has produced substantial work and tangible results within the field of sport, and most specifically within the wider area of sport for societal change. The ceremony was held at the EL Industry Day Conference in Prague, Czech Republic last week.

“We’re delighted to have received this prestigious award – It recognises Sport 4 Life as a leading ‘sport for development’ organisation across Europe and the tangible impact we’re making in tackling youth unemployment in Birmingham through sport.” Jack Skinner, Business Development Manager.


Get fit 4 Employment

Get Fit 4 Employment

Sport 4 Life UK is running a special two week Get Fit 4 Employment personal development and employability programme designed to help young people aged 16 to 29 get back into education, employment, and training.

The two week Get Fit 4 Employment Programme is starting on Tuesday 19th June at The Lighthouse Young People’s Centre

The programme features:

Employability Qualification
One to one mentoring support

Sports Leaders UK Level 1 Qualification
Sports sessions

There is a training bursary of up to £80 for anyone who completes the programme.

Free bus travel cards are provided for the duration of the programme.

Click here to see the programme flyer and directions

Complete the form below, and of our friendly mentors will be in touch with you with more information about our programme and how to join.


Get in Touch

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Future Face Charity of the year 2018/2019

Future Faces Partnership

Future Faces has announced that Sport 4 Life UK will be its partner for 2018-19. Future Faces is a legally constituted section of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and is designed to help businesses support and develop staff who are committed to developing their careers. Future Faces is dedicated to maintaining a networking forum for aspiring business people in Greater Birmingham.

Sport 4 Life UK was chosen from a number of competing organisations by the Future Faces committee members. Anna Assinder, Future Faces manager, said: “Sport 4 Life has done some incredible work across the region to help support young people gain access to work and personal development opportunities.

“Their presentation to the committee was engaging, informative, and gave us a great overview of how we can help support the charity over the next year.

“The committee and I are really looking forward to working with Sport 4 Life over the next year; getting involved in their activities, supporting their young people and working with them on our charity quiz and flagship Future Faces Annual Dinner and Awards on 31 August.

“There are lots of ways that members will be able to get involved in supporting this worthwhile cause so keep an eye out for events and news in the next few weeks.”

Jack Skinner, business development manager at Sport 4 Life UK, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with Future Faces for 2018/19.

“We’re very excited about helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds across the region by utilising the assets and skills of the Future Faces Committee and its members.”

Pictured: Jack Skinner, Hayley Porter (Future Faces vice president), Tom Clarke-Forrest, and Anna Assinder (Future Faces Manager)

Violent Crime Strategy

Sport 4 Life UK featured in a Channel 5 News report that looked into violent crimes amongst young people and outlined Government’s new strategy to tackle the growing issue. The Channel 5 news team visited a Sport 4 Life TEENS session and spoke with Senior Coordinator and Mentor David Johnson about how Sport 4 Life UK support young people to steer clear of violent crime. Click on the video below to watch the report.


Alliance of Sport feature Sport 4 Life

The ‘National Alliance of Sport For the Desistance of Crime’ (NASDC) recently featured Sport 4 Life by producing a news article covering all aspects of Sport 4 Life’s work including the need, history of the organisation, how sport is used, programmes, impact and case studies. NASDC is underpinned by a single belief – that the power of sport is one of the most effective tools at engaging and supporting the most challenging and complex people in society. With over 300 members, its purpose is to work strategically with key stakeholders and provide leadership, coordination and evidence for sport in the desistance of crime. A preview of the article is below:

Sport 4 Life offer lifeline to Birmingham’s disillusioned youth

  • An astonishing 37% of children in Birmingham live in poverty – 100,000 in total. 
  • 40% of the city’s population live in the top 10% most deprived areas of the UK. 
  • Children growing up in deprived circumstances are far less likely to achieve five GCSEs at A-C (only 33% do so in Birmingham) 
  • Birmingham has the highest youth unemployment of the UK’s core cities (8.9% – double the UK average) 

It’s statistics like these that starkly outline the importance of Sport4Life’s work. Using sport as an engagement tool, their programmes develop the confidence, life skills and employability of at-risk young people, many of whom have been through the criminal justice system. 

Sport 4 Life was founded in 2006 by Tom Clarke-Forrest, combining his passions for sport, young people and his home city of Birmingham. Initially it consisted of participatory activities designed to simply divert young people away from anti-social behaviour. In 2010 the strategy widened to achieving the ‘hard outcome’ of employability. 

You can read the full article here:


New EU-Wide Sport & Employability Toolkit Launched

Sport 4 Life UK has been heavily involved in the creation of an EU-wide toolkit which provides a blue-print for delivering successful sports-themed employability programmes to young people. The research project ‘Team Up!’, in partnership with global football charity streetfootballworld, spanned over 2 and half years, brought together 8 EU-based partners working in the ‘sport for employment’ sector, and culminated in the toolkit resource. Sport 4 Life’s involvement covered best practice, training, case studies, EU project visits, and co-writing of the resource. The toolkit provides useful practical advice and guidance, and is aimed at organisation who (a) deliver sports programme, but want to include employability activities or (b) deliver employability programmes, but want to include football / sport as a tool. You can read the toolkit at the following link: or by clicking here.

Sport 4 Life on BBC News

BBC Midlands Today visited Sport 4 Life UK as part of their Sport Relief launch. They spoke to young people and staff from a Sport Relief funded sports-themed employability programme. Watch their report below to see how Aaron was able to turn his life around and how Sport 4 Life supported Caitlin back into work.



Commonwealth Games 2022

Birmingham – Heart of the UK, soul of the Commonwealth

Sport 4 Life UK’s Founder & CEO  shares his reflections on Birmingham becoming the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

In just over four years, in July 2022, the world’s gaze will focus on Birmingham, my hometown, as the host city of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Announced on 21st December 2017 at a press conference at the Arena Academy in Birmingham, it will be the third Commonwealth Games to be hosted in England, following London (in 1934) and Manchester (in 2002).

Sitting at the heart of the UK, Birmingham reflects the diversity of the Commonwealth – indeed it has been referred to as the “Commonwealth City” – and is therefore perfectly positioned to attract people from across the UK, and from all corners of the globe and ensure that the benefits of hosting extend from the city and region, to the UK and the Commonwealth.

One of the youngest cities in Europe, Birmingham is vibrant and richly diverse. As Commonwealth Games Federation President, Louise Martin CBE, said: “With its rich history, cultural diversity, youthful dynamism and ambitious spirit, Birmingham embodies all that we cherish about the Commonwealth, and so the Commonwealth Sports Movement looks forward to collaborating with all the Games partners to showcase the city’s humanity and pride to a global audience over the coming months and years.”

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70 Commonwealth nations will compete in 18 different sports. Hundreds of millions will be spent. Heroes will be made. Dreams will be fulfilled. Dreams will be crushed. Men and women, of all abilities, will push – and break – the boundaries of athletic endeavour. And the world will be united, as millions of worldwide spectators tune in to Birmingham – “heart of the UK, soul of the Commonwealth”.

I, for one, cannot wait for the event to commence. I very much hope to be there, in person, for the opening ceremony, on 27th July 2022 – the anniversary of the opening ceremony of the historic London 2012 Olympics. Will Birmingham live up to the hype? Will our medal hopefuls crumble under the media pressure and spotlight, or will the home advantage spur them on to gold medal glory? Only in time will these questions be answered, but one thing is for sure – the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games promise to be a fantastic occasion and viewing a must for all sports fans like myself.

The Commonwealth Games are, however, so much more than just another sporting competition. The Games symbolise a movement that embodies important values for society as a whole – respect, courage, determination, inspiration, excellence, passion, and equality. They are a tool for social and economic regeneration, building homes and creating jobs. And they are an opportunity to achieve a real, long-lasting sporting legacy for the UK and, indeed, for the people of Birmingham. For these reasons, the Commonwealth Games should be of real interest to all sectors here in the second city.

There will inevitably be numerous ways that individuals, communities, charities and businesses can get involved in the Commonwealth spirit and movement. You can use the spirit as an incentive to get fit and healthy, neighbourhoods can organise their own community games, you can join in the numerous mass participation events that will take place throughout the region, and everyone can watch the action – live!

Sport for social change is exactly what Sport 4 Life UK, the organisation I founded and am CEO of, stands for. We use sport as a vehicle to support young people back into sustained employment and education. We promote the Commonwealth values to all our young people, developing crucial life skills to support them in their future careers and wider life goals.

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Sport can also teach so many valuable life lessons – how to respond when you lose, sacrifice, commitment, courage, committing to a dream, believing in yourself, team work, never giving up. Combined with targeted employability support, such as accredited qualifications, workshops and one-to-one mentoring, through our structured programmes in Birmingham – we change lives. And we’ll be sure to join the Commonwealth movement and spirit in celebration of the power of sport.

The most important thing is that everyone feels part of Commonwealth Games – by being a spectator, watching it on TV, by joining in the cultural and sporting activities, by working at the event, or by volunteering.

This event will not be on our doorstep again anytime soon and so I encourage you to make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity as the next four years will inevitably go by quickly.



Birmingham Business Charter

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility.

This award recognises organisations that have acknowledged the importance of corporate social responsibility, to help Birmingham improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of Birmingham’s citizens

Matthew Forsyth, Operations Executive of Sport 4 Life said this of being awarded the Charter.

“The local community is very important to us and we are proud to be working in the heart of Birmingham.  We are committed to actively demonstrate that the values of the Charter are embedded in the values of Sport 4 Life UK.”

Child Poverty Report


The End Child Poverty coalition has published new figures providing a new Child Poverty map of the UK.  The new figures reveal that there are now constituencies within the UK where more than half of children are growing up in poverty – compared to one in ten, in the areas with the lowest child poverty rates.

The local child poverty estimates are broken down by parliamentary constituency, local authority and ward. Child poverty is the highest in large cities, particularly in London, Birmingham and Manchester.  Among the twenty parliamentary constituencies with the highest levels of childhood poverty, seven are located in London, three in Birmingham, and three in Manchester.

At Sport 4 Life UK, we work in the constituencies across Birmingham with the highest levels of child poverty. We work with young people aged 12 – 29 and support them through our sports-themed personal development programmes. We believe in a level playing field where young people have the opportunity to create better futures for themselves. Our programmes and mentoring provide a path for young people to achieve this.

To read more about the report, please click here.

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