In the midst of Britain’s summer of sport, more than 200 young men came together today to compete in a 7 a-side football competition as part of the B Active summer showcase series.
Building on the success of the sport-for-development programme, now in its second year, more young men than ever have taken part in this year’s B Active tournament in Stonebridge, north London, as 30 teams competed for a coveted spot at the national B Active final in August.
Aimed at 16-24 year olds, B Active is a participant-led programme helping young people – both men and women – from disadvantaged areas access sport, physical activity and training through sessions on sport and health-related issues such as diet, fitness and mental wellbeing.
B Active programmes in Belfast, Hull, Manchester, Newport, and north and south London are supported by Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS), one of the UK’s leading soft drinks manufacturers, and delivered by Active Communities Network, a charity promoting physical activity and vocational training. The programme is also part-funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
Through this programme, participants have been able to develop new skills, find employment opportunities and discover alternative routes to education, through vocational training. More than 80 north London participants are now volunteering in the local community, with 74% earning accredited qualifications through B Active.
Courtney Austin, aged 21, B Active participant and event organiser comments: “I’ve always loved playing football and wanted to give something back to the community which is where my love for the sport began.
“What’s great about today’s tournament is that it’s been organised by those playing in it, which is exactly what B Active is all about. No one understands young people better than young people and it’s been amazing to see players from different parts of London come together through our shared love of football.”
While today’s showcase brought to light the skills of some of the 916 men involved across B Active’s London programmes, earlier this month over 150 young women took part in B Active’s North London Showcase in Mile End. More teams than ever before have joined B Active Summer Showcases in London this year.
Michelle Norman, Head of External Affairs and Sustainability at Lucozade Ribena Suntory, commented: “We are delighted to have supported almost 1,000 young men across London through B Active, a figure that is growing significantly year on year. Our programme embodies Lucozade Ribena Suntory’s commitment to helping people in our communities lead a healthier, more active lifestyle – and today is all about showcasing that power of sport and how it has manifested itself in the thousands of young adults we see here today.”
The event was the second of four B Active showcases taking place in London this summer, ahead of each regional programme meeting in Manchester for the National B Active Summer Showcase on 22 August. The south London B Active men’s event will be held in Southwark on 9 August.