The NEC hosted a fantastic new project this week, designed to help create connections between Birmingham schools in the build up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. As a host venue for the Games it was a pleasure to welcome over 100 young people from neighbouring secondary schools in the Birmingham area.
Children's charity the Youth Sport Trust launched the new project, in partnership with the English Commonwealth Games team, Team England. The project, called Birmingham Connect, will use the power of sport to build connections between young people from diverse and segregated communities in Birmingham.
The year-long programme aims to improve social mixing and build young people's understanding of different communities. It will particularly focus on tackling segregation of young people of different ethnicities, who come from areas of deprivation or who have a disability.
Team England triple jumper, Nathan Douglas, helped to launch the project, along with our very own NEC Group Commonwealth Games Project Manager, Donovan Myers. Pupils, teachers and leaders from the 20 schools took part in traditional games from different Commonwealth countries, as well as learning about volunteering, peer mentoring and action planning.
Commonwealth Games England CEO, Paul Blanchard, said: "We hope that this project will leave a lasting legacy beyond the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to promote social integration among young people across the city and enable them to become better connected. We're looking forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on the schools, children and communities involved."