Dalmain Athletics Girls Football Club and Palmers Boxing Academy engage more Lewisham girls in sports with their ‘Small Grants Fund’ from the Jack Petchey Foundation.
By age 14, only 1 in 10 girls undertake enough physical activity to benefit their health, compared with roughly twice the number of boys of the same age. This has huge health and social implications. Consequently, Dalmain Athletics in Lewisham is launching a three-stage project to attract female members to their club. The first stage will provide three taster coaching sessions to four local schools (Dalmain Primary, Beecroft Garden Primary, Holbeach Primary and Elfrida Primary). This will then progress onto the Jack Petchey Foundation Cup - a tournament which will include all the girls involved in the project. The final part of the programme offers the community six free coaching sessions to be held at Dalmain's training venue, which the girls can get involved with too. Graham Curtis from the Dalmain Athletics Girls Football Club says: “We feel this project will prove to the girls that they have untapped skills and ability for football”.
Palmer’s Boxing Academy is also based in Lewisham. 95% of their free sessions are taken up by boys. They are targeting this issue by bringing their ABA Coach Jenny Hazelton, the winner of Jack Petchey Foundation Leader Award, to collaborate with local schools and encourage more girls to sign up to boxing sessions. Terry Palmer from Palmer’s Boxing Academy believes “this will help keep our young people in good health and off the streets in a safe environment. We will be working with local schools and our community to improve the perception of young people”.
Almost 40% of the Lewisham population live in areas classified as being amongst the fifth most deprived areas in England. Therefore funding schemes like this are essential to maintain a community spirit and ensure opportunities are available to everyone - regardless of sex or wealth. Jane Evans from the Jack Petchey Foundation has been working on funding these two groups’ projects and says “The Foundation is keen to promote equal opportunities so we are really excited about these projects and what they mean for the girls in Lewisham”.
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