Sheffield City Trust Celebrates Community Sports Launch!

26th July 2022

Sheffield City Trust has launched its summer holiday sports van programme this week and the vans can now be found out and about in the community every day of the school holidays delivering fun, free, and inclusive activities to children across Sheffield.

As the community team finished their final preparations last week, they took their sports vans and equipment and met up with partners Sheffield Hatters, Sheffield Eagles, Sheffield Steeler’s Wheelchair Basketball, plus children and representatives from Darnall Education and Sports Academy (DESA) so they could try out the activities.

Rob Womack, Health, Wellbeing and Partnerships Manager at Sheffield City Trust said:

“The sports van is part of Sheffield City Trust’s work with communities and for the first time since the pandemic we are thrilled that the activities are restarting this summer.

“We have been out and about in the community visiting schools and parks across Sheffield already to let them know when we’ll be coming and we have been very well received, people are thrilled that we will be back this summer!”

This year will see double the capacity with two sports vans and engaging sports coaches visiting various locations throughout the summer holidays from Monday 25th July until Friday 4th September. The teams will go into the heart of some of the most in-need neighbourhoods across the city on a rotational basis which includes Arbourthorne, Darnall, Firth Park, Handsworth, Winn Gardens, Manor, Westfield, Upperthorpe, Stannington and more.

Fourteen-year-old Hayley Cassin from Rotherham who plays for the Sheffield Steeler’s Wheelchair Basketball Academy attended the meet up and said:

“Sport has a place for everyone so why not come along to one of the sports van days and try different activities.

“You never know, you might enjoy it. Be inspired. #inspirational #inclusive #play with passion #no limits. I’m not disabled, I’m differently abled and Wheelchair Basketball is my passion.”

The children and young people from DESA got to try out some of the free activities and food on offer and got a taste of what is to come in their community. Kamran Din from DESA said:

“The kids really enjoyed meeting up and getting to try out the activities in advance and we appreciated the invite. 

“It is great to see a programme going into parks that is accessible for all.”

Some of the sessions will also include visits by partner sporting clubs from around Sheffield including Sheffield Hatters Basketball Club, Sheffield Steeler’s Wheelchair Basketball Club, Sheffield Eagles as well as a range of local talented athletes and community groups. 

Rob Womack continued:

“We know the need is there, and we know it goes beyond the summer because people in the community have informed us of this, we are therefore looking forward to running the summer activities and using the feedback from this to develop our programme to be even better in the Autumn.”

Councillor Anne Murphy visited one of the sessions and said:

“As a former Lord Mayor and a Councillor for the City of Sheffield, I was invited to the Ponderosa Park to be involved in the sports van delivering free sports activities for all the young people in the area.

“When I first arrived, there were only a few young people playing on the field, within an hour there was up to 70 youngsters playing various sports from football to cricket, bean bag catching and hula hoop dancing.

“There must have been 30 youngsters playing football alone and they were of all ages, races and heights, a fabulous sight. 

“At that moment I realised that this was the way forward for many of our young people during the school holidays, those that do not have equipment, money or transport to access sporting facilities in Sheffield.

“Along with the youngsters, parents started to arrive with little ones and began joining in, they brought food and participated by being the supporting crowd.

“It was a community coming together over sport!”

For further information and for the full dates and locations please visit https://www.sheffieldcitytrust.org/sports-van

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