Opportunity Sports Foundation

Our Small Grants scheme has been benefiting different sports since April 2010

We have invested over £20 million across 81 organisations to get new kit, secure coaches, buy equipment and much more.

One such beneficiary is the Opportunity Sports Foundation, a charity set up to help young people stay involved in sport.

As well as working with mainstream young people the charity also helps other members of the community by:

  • Working with homeless young people
  • Working with young people from social housing estates
  • Creating a foundation (disability) group at a local college
  • Working with young offenders

Andrew, who volunteers for the organisation, said: “We have no paid staff and only pay our coaches, all the fundraising work that I do is on a completely voluntary basis. Naturally this is not a sustainable way to live and we hope in the future to get a grant that will allow the Opportunity Sports Fund to employ perhaps two members of staff. We will then be able to expand the work that we do on a larger scale with our aim being one that allows us to open a facility designed specifically for young people that are mentally and physically disabled.”

At present the Opportunity Sports Foundation work with Looked After Young people of Lancashire in a project based around football. All participants are taught many values that are taken for granted in society such as teamwork, social skills, a sense of belonging to a team, and creating an enjoyable environment. Along with all these benefits and the obvious health benefits the young people are also educated in the form of ASDAN work and Sports Leader qualifications.

How our funding will help

This Small Grant fund will benefit around 115 young people with disabilities. It will also encourage young volunteers who will in turn be able to access funding to become coaches in the future. The funding will also pay for the hire of a facility and 3 paid coaches to work with the young people.

The charity recognises that the young people they work with often need almost 1 to 1 coaching, although this may not always be possible it is something the organisation tries its utmost to make the case.

“Without the funding there is no way the Opportunity Sports Fund would have managed to start this project. It is something we have wanted to do for a number of years and we cannot wait to get started,” Andrew added.