Engaging with BME people and others to promote volunteering, civic action and educational mentoring

This is the title of one of the presentations at the conference Getting more people from black and minority ethnic communities into sport and physical activity which takes place on 27th March 2014 at the Signing Tree Conference Centre in Birmingham.

Organised in partnership between Sporting Equals and Sports Marketing Network this is a  conference teaching new ways of engaging and retaining participants in sport and physical activity from BME communities.

This presentation is delivered by Pritesh Pattni of the Birmingham-based Bidgley Power Foundation.

The Bidgley Power Foundation has a 38-year history of delivering sport to BME communities. A small group of Bangladeshi restaurant workers in the mid 70’s battled racial and institutional barriers to start a small Badminton club. Growing from these origins the organisation now has 15 BME sports coaches and works with over 300 participants every week in its various sports programs. Operating in super diverse areas of Birmingham with 90% BME demographics and high social deprivation.

As a charity it has taken this sporting base and used it to engage with BME people and young and disabled people to promote volunteering, civic action and educational mentoring. The charity is wholly volunteer run and led with local people as trustees to keep its focus on effective social outcomes.

Currently working with partners such as West Midlands Police, the Counter terrorism unit, Midland Heart housing Association and Aston Villa Football club with its base of 30 volunteers.

The challenge is whether cultural sensitivity in an increasingly secular society and a diminishing focus on the equalities agenda coupled with funding cuts mean that the charity is fighting a loosing battle?

Pritesh Pattni is a Ugandan Asian refugee who has championed BME sport for 25 years. A Badminton coach and torchbearer in the 2012 Olympics. Working as a resilience officer for the council and studying for a PhD at UEL.

This one-day event will provide examples of good practice on increasing participation in sport and physical activity for people from ethnically diverse communities. Attendees can learn ideas to suit their own environment. Pick up helpful insight, learning from people themselves and the providers who have been successful. Use the ideas to shape your sporting and physical activity opportunities to provide experiences for everyone involved.

This is not a conference packed with policy presentations. We hope people will leave the event knowing they have heard some great practical ideas and having learned how to make positive changes of their own.

Further details can be found on http://tinyurl.com/cmnc8xz

You can also call 01423 326 660 or email svend@smnuk.com 

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