When Rahmo arrived in England eighteen months ago from Somalia, the teenager was stepping into an unfamiliar country unable to speak any English. But sport changed everything.
“It was very difficult at first,” she says. “I never had any confidence before, in sport or in life.
"But I thank my teachers who introduced me to sport. It has really changed my life.”
Rahmo’s childhood in Somalia was tough. Terrorism was a daily peril and education restrictions imposed on women severely limited her opportunities.
Sport was the least of her concerns when she was growing up, but it has proved to be a huge part of her life in her new home of Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
“Back home only boys do sport or physical activities,” says Rahmo. “I started to do sport at the Female Fitness Club and it’s become one of my favourite things at college.”
Rahmo first heard about the satellite club, which is funded by us, thanks to the sports coordinator at her college.
Through weekly Zumba and Boxercise sessions, her confidence has flourished and her grasp of English has improved considerably.
And the club, run in partnership with Rotherham College and Places for People Leisure, has helped her form close bonds with other girls.
I never had any confidence before, in sport or in life. But I thank my teachers who introduced me to sport. It has really changed my life
The profound impact of sport on Rahmo’s life has seen her win the silver prize at our National Sportivate and Satellite Club Participant Awards.
The awards recognise the individuals and projects that demonstrate outstanding commitment to community sport. Rahmo is one of over 430,000 young people who have attended more than 9,300 satellite clubs across England since 2012.
Team GB Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey, and Minister for Sport, Tracey Crouch, were on hand to present the accolades.
Recognising community sport
Rahmo isn’t the only one who has come a long way in a short space of time. Similar life-changing moments are unfolding on a high-rise estate in Wolverhampton.
Rise Up Yoga is bringing the mind and body benefits of yoga to over 500 young people living on the Heath Town Estate in the West Midlands.
The club is our Sportivate Project of the Year Gold Award winner.
“As soon as we opened up the doors, we got engagement from the estate and everyone has just wanted to lend a hand,” says project co-founder Deon James Morgan.
With the help of the Black Country Be-Active Partnership, it has helped many local unemployed volunteers gain qualifications and has developed into a community interest company, with all profits being re-invested back into the local community.
From 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, Deon and project co-founder, Akil Maylor, open their doors to the estate – and its success has grown beyond its initial aims.
“It’s in the community’s hands more than it is in our hands,” adds Deon. “People have jumped on board and it’s flowed into lots of different areas. From yoga to martial arts to self-defence to relaxation, mindfulness techniques and healthy eating.
The project is giving people opportunity, physical opportunity, access to training, financial opportunity, gateway to university
Deon James Morgan, Rise Up Yoga
“It’s the true definition of wellbeing. The project is giving people opportunity, social opportunity, physical opportunity, financial opportunity, access to training, gateway to university. We’ve done all of that.”
Check out the full list of award winners below:
- Sportivate Participant of the Year Gold – Daniella Henry
- Sportivate Participant of the Year Silver – Ammarah Pandor
- Sportivate Participant of the Year Bronze – Kusquam Adam
- Satellite Club Participant of the Year Gold – Danny Ewin
- Satellite Club Participant of the Year Silver – Rahmo Ali Adan
- Satellite Club Participant of the Year Bronze – Shakila Ahmed
- Sportivate Project of the Year Gold – Rise Up Yoga
- Sportivate Project of the Year Silver – Bicton College Rounders
- Sportivate Project of the Year Bronze – Watersports Jubilee River Innovation Project
- Satellite Club of the Year Gold – Kendal Disability Youth Club
- Satellite Club of the Year Silver – Predator Taekwondo
- Satellite Club of the Year Bronze – AFC Unity