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Trailblazing Kirklees sports scheme for disadvantaged teenagers comes top in national award

Dewsbury Doorstep beat 799 entrants to win the Streetgames title for best new project and is one of six council-backed clubs of its kind in the area

Kirklees Council

A sports scheme that is changing the lives of disadvantaged young people in Kirklees has beaten 799 entrants to come top in a national award.

Dewsbury Doorstep Club was crowned best new project of the year by Street Games, a UK-wide charity that empowers communities through sports, by inspiring youngsters to get active and reducing unemployment by helping them into careers as sports leaders.

It has been bringing sports such as basketball, golf, rugby and tennis to up to 30 14 to 25-year-olds who live in the town’s most deprived areas since it was set up one year ago, as well as training them to coach others.

The club, which meets every Tuesday from 6.30pm to 8pm at St John Fishers Catholic High School is part of a network of six clubs that have been set up by Kirklees Council to work with residents from the 10% most deprived wards in the area since 2012.

It was set up by the network’s co-ordinator and council officer Neil Jones and community interest company Set 3 In Communities director Shane Hussain and was recognised nationally for its ‘excellence’ in youth action and leadership development. .

Neil said: “I couldn’t believe that we beat clubs from all over the country and it’s a fantastic boost to the project.

“The club has been getting young people from the estates into sports they may not feel were available to them by bringing them into their communities and it’s proven really popular.

“The sports leadership training aspect has also provided them with life skills such as leadership and has enabled some of them to find paid work and develop a career.”

All six clubs, which are based in Batley and Huddersfield, have been funded to provide innovative projects by Street Games to over 140 young people and have gained support from West Yorkshire Police, Huddersfield Giants, Dewsbury Rams and Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing.

For more information on local clubs contact Neil on 01484 234098.

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