How community sport should be improving its impact on the community

This is the title of a presentation given by Pritesh Pattni, Chairperson, Bidgley Power Foundation at the conference Enterprise and Collaboration in Community Sport in the West Midlands

The event takes place on 28th April 2015 at Signing Tree Conference Centre, Ladywood, Birmingham B16 8SZ.

This is a one-day event focussing on how community sports providers can meet the challenges and benefit from new opportunities created by changes in people’s lives, the political landscape and the economic situation

Delegates will come from community sports clubs, community trust at professional sports clubs, governing bodies of sport, local authorities, community sports trusts, informal sports providers, community sports enterprises, sports governing bodies, community groups and other community sports providers.

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 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. It is 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 charity brings a wealth of experience to the problems faced in getting more BME people into sport and physical activity. Recruitment and retention of BME participants and sustainability are some of the major issues which it advocates on with Badminton England and the County sports Partnership.

Current themes in its work are BME disability and women into sport, which it has pioneered in certain sports through a focus on equity in sport, give rise to some key learning points.

Using Sport as vehicle for changing communities can people be part of the solution?

Pritesh Pattni is a Ugandan Asian refugee who championed BME sport for 28 years. A Badminton coach and torchbearer in the 2012 Olympics and Common Wealth Games in 2014. Working as a resilience officer for the council and studying for a PhD at University of East London.

For further information about this event contact Svend Elkjaer on 01423 326 660. email svend@smnuk.com or go to http://www.smnuk.org/#/events-2014/4574426035

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