Bromley Youth Project team finalists in National Active Lifestyle 'Oscars'

A Bromley youth project has beaten off hundreds of competitors to be selected as finalists in the 2015 ukactive Flame Awards—the national ‘Oscars’ of the health, fitness and physical activity sector.

Mytime Active’s flagship community sports project, MyFuture, has been shortlisted in the Shaping Young Lives category which recognises schemes that have significantly shaped the lives of young people through physical activity.

MyFuture provides free, bespoke, weekly sport and physical activity programmes for young people in the heart of two of the most disadvantaged communities in Bromley: Orpington and Cray Valley wards (ranked 20% most deprived in England by National Deprivation Index Statistics).

“We’re delighted to have been shortlisted as finalists against such fierce competition” said Mytime Active’s Community Development Worker Keith Sykes, “and it’s been successful because it has been shaped by the young people themselves.”

The project was developed in 2008 when key stakeholders such as Safer Neighbourhood Panel members advised that young people in these areas were most in need of positive activities. 

Alex King, 22, is a resident on the Ramsden estate and joined the MyFuture project 7 years ago at the start. As one of the older members of the project, Alex quickly demonstrated strong communication and leadership skills helping to encourage new young people to take part in the project.

These skills helped to open new opportunities for Alex—MyFuture offered him a place as a volunteer coach and he has achieved his Level 1 & 2 FA football coaching awards. He is now employed as a lead coach on the MyFuture project.

Alex said: “Since I have made it as a qualified football coach I have continued to come back to the estates and help pass on some of my knowledge to the rest of the kids. I do coaching sessions on the Ramsden Estate. It’s where I’ve lived all my life and it’s in my heart really”.

James Cooper, 22, lives in St Mary Cray and also joined MyFuture 7 years ago as a participant who then became a volunteer. He has now taken on the role of assistant coach at the MyFuture sessions.

James said: “I have come all the way through the project as a participant and now I am working in the industry I enjoy. I have picked up a lot of skills from all of the coaches I have worked with along the way and without them I would not be the coach that I am today. If it wasn’t for MyFuture I don’t know where I would be today, I hit a rough patch at one point and focusing on the basketball and the teaching is what has pulled me through it”

It was recognised that residents within these delivery wards have some of the most acute health issues—including smoking, obesity and inactivity. In response to this need Mytime Active developed, managed and part-funded Myfuture as part of the organisations commitment to invest in local communities. 

Other partners and funders include Bromley Council, Affinity Sutton Housing Association, the Priory Academy and recently StreetGames (Doorstep Sports Club initiative). In addition to offering a free weekly programme of activities suggested by local residents the project offers the young people a range of volunteering, training and mentoring opportunities to empower the next generation of young leaders in sport.

Alex King

Mytime Active