Darnall community group praises support of Sheffield City Trust

29th November 2022

A leading local community group has praised the work of Sheffield City Trust in helping to keep young people active and engaged through sport.

The Darnall Education and Sports Academy (DESA) has forged a strong relationship with the Trust over the past two years which has provided hundreds of children and teenagers with access to facilities and coaching at a subsidised price.

Every Friday evening more than 200 young people, who live close to the English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EISS) in Attercliffe, visit the venue to take part in sports such as football, cricket, badminton, athletics or basketball.

Abdul Malik, director and lead sports coordinator at DESA, said: “This is a fantastic example of how a community group such as ours can grow and flourish with the support of partners who have the best interests of the city and its people at heart.

“Sheffield City Trust has given us the ability to work with some of Sheffield’s most underrepresented young people in an environment that is truly inspiring. 

“There is far more to it than just a ‘pay for hire’ transaction, it is a relationship in every sense of the word and we are very grateful to be working with them. Hopefully this is something that can continue for the long term as it is something our community needs.”

David Bly, sports programme and engagement manager for Sheffield City Trust, said: “Our partnership with DESA is everything that we stand for. We are able to make use of the EISS and offer sporting provision for a group who may not ordinarily be able to access such a facility.

“The most pleasing thing is that it has led on to further opportunities for the community. We now have children learning to swim at Ponds Forge for instance, which has come directly through our relationship with DESA.”

Sheffield City Trust, which will return facilities including Sheffield Arena, Ponds Forge, Sheffield City Hall, the EISS and iceSheffield in April 2024, currently works with more than 170 community groups across the city.

Chief executive of the Trust, Andrew Snelling, said: “It is important that whatever happens in a couple of years’ time with leisure provision in the city there is thought given to working with community groups going forward. 

“The success of relationships we have with the likes of DESA is clear to see, so it would be a shame for that to not continue. Sheffield City Trust is rightfully proud of the work we have done with numerous community groups in Sheffield who have benefited from access and staffing expertise at our venues.”

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