ALBION, along with all other Premier League clubs, have been hailed by Lord Coe for the work they are achieving in the community - particularly with respect to sports participation - through ‘Creating Chances’.
Writing the foreward for the Premier League Creating Chances 2012 report, released today, the chairman of the British Olympic Association and architect of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games said: “The Premier League is to be applauded for ensuring that thousands of young people will get their opportunity to participate in sport.
“For years the Premier League has been delivering in the area of sports participation and they, like me, are heartened to see that in 2012 this issue moved higher up the agenda for Government.”
The Albion Foundation run a number of projects under the Creating Chances banner.
The ‘Triple A' attendance project, which featured on BBC’s Match of the Day show in November, is significantly improving attendance in a number of secondary schools in Sandwell.
The ‘One Albion Disability Project’ works to provide sporting opportunities, peer mentor support, pathways for participation, and competition for young people with disabilities and learning difficulties.
‘Time Out’ offers an alternative education programme where pupils on the verge of exclusion attend The Albion Foundation school with the aim of reintegrating them back in to their schools, with 93 per cent returning to mainstream last year.
The Foundation is also part of nationwide schemes such as ‘Kickz’ which, in partnership with the police, provides activities in identified crime hot spots in the borough; and ‘Premier League 4 Sport’, where it is building on the Olympic legacy and getting children interested in sports such as badminton, volleyball, basketball, table tennis and netball before attaching them to local clubs.
The Albion Foundation Director, Rob Lake, said: “The Premier League’s Creating Chances initiative has been hugely beneficial to the Albion Foundation.
“It has enabled us to expand our programmes and truly make a difference, while raising aspirations.
“I am very proud of my great team of staff who are delivering these worthy projects and very grateful to the Premier League and Creating Chances for the funding which enables people to ‘Inspire to Achieve’ on a daily basis.”
The 64-page ‘Creating Chances’ report details the work that the Premier League clubs deliver at the heart of their communities in five key areas: community cohesion, sport participation, health, education and international. Every club that played in the Premier League in 2012 is featured and they tell their story about the difference football is making to local communities.
Over the past year, 843 club projects have been active under the Creating Chances banner, engaging 541,750 individuals in the process. These people attended 4.14million times – an average of 7.6 attendances per individual.
The highest level engagement is among under-18s, who make up 89 per cent of Creating Chances participants. 34 per cent of those engaged are female while 25 per cent are black or minority ethnic.
Premier League clubs are valued by partners and government as community hubs: every £1 of funding attracts £3 of match funding.
For more information please contact the Premier League Press Office on 020 7864 9190 or go to www.premierleague.com
To find out more about The Albion Foundation visit www.thealbionfoundation.co.uk
or call 0871 271 9840.
PIC: BOSS' BACKING...Steve Clarke and Gareth McAuley show support for 'One Albion Disability Project'