Our Games, Adderley Park: April – August 2022
Updated: Mar 27
In 2022, Birmingham hosted the Commonwealth Games and as part of the legacy strategy there was funding for community groups to deliver activities that would promote and enhance the games but also to encourage residents to feel more connected to their local communities.
From April to August 2022 we delivered a range of sporting and physical activity sessions that would connect locals to games being played on television and inspire them to be potential future athletes, all for free! Our proposal was to make sports accessible, affordable and inclusive. After consulting with the local community we were able to setup boxing, cricket, basketball and football sessions on a weekly basis, with a mixture of after school, midweek evening and weekend sessions to allow for maximised engagement. The funding we received was from Birmingham City Council and specifically the budget of the Alum Rock ward, hence why we were looking at engaging residents of that local area and we chose to deliver our activities in the famous Adderley Park which has not been utilised as much as it could have been in recent times. With our following of parents and young people across the city, we didn’t exclude residents from other areas, but did give priority to those from Alum Rock.
At Street Futures we understand that the younger generation do not have many extra curricular activities due to cuts and limited budgets and resources of schools. This then causes young people to be forgotten about, having nothing to do in spare time and sooner or later they fall into the trap of one or many criminal activities surrounding inner city communities. By having sessions available immediately after school, gave locals a safe space to come to and to take part in a meaningful activity. The fact that our sessions were not on for a few weeks, or every other week was also key as it allowed young people to feel as though we were committed and invested in them, thus why we were going to be at Adderley Park all summer.
On the weekend we had sessions on from 11am – 3pm and during the project we were able to engage young people of different cultures, religions and ages. An important decision we made was to ensure our delivery utilised the local spaces Alum Rock has to offer and for our delivery to be visible to the general community. By choosing a space such as Adderley Park, we were definitely able to do so. Along the way there were challenges such as certain communities had clashes with other commitments such as attending the mosque for Islamic education, having already committed to other sessions/clubs etc. As ever we found ways to overcome these barriers by putting on weekend sessions and working with other community assets such as faith centres and other community and grass root organisations.
We concluded the project in collaboration with other local organisations to put on a multi sports festival of activities and stalls on the same day as Pakistan Independence Day. The project in its entirety has allowed for community relations to be strengthened, whether that is locals or organisations, but it has allowed for inactive young people to become active, it has inspired young people to become potential future athletes and it has given local residents a stronger sense of belonging not only to their local community but to the city as a whole.