Heurelho Gomes launched a new north London project, Sports M.A.T.E, aimed at increasing participation levels of young disabled people living in Barnet, Enfield, Haringey and Waltham Forest.
Funded by 95.8 Capital FM's Help a London Child's 'Free Sport for All' programme (FS4A) and Sport Unlimited, Sports M.A.T.E is delivered in partnership by Interactive, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and PRO-ACTIVE North London.
Sports M.A.T.E has two core objectives - to engage 500 young disabled people living in north London in sport and to support at least 100 of them to become regular participants at their local club. To achieve these aims, 20 volunteers known as Sports M.A.T.Es will by recruited to support and mentor the young people.
Our goalkeeper Gomes said: "It was a pleasure to meet so many young people and great to see how much they enjoy playing sport. That is why it is so important they are given the chance to join clubs and play their favourite sports through projects like this, and it's great the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation are involved."
Sports M.A.T.E will employ a dedicated Project Officer to manage the volunteers and implement the project infrastructure. They will co-ordinate Sport Unlimited sessions to specifically target young disabled people, organise inclusive training workshops for clubs, provide coaching opportunities for disabled people, develop school-club links and work in partnership to promote the project across the region.
James Isaac, Inclusion Manager of Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: "The Foundation is fully committed to the 'Inclusive and Active 2' strategy for London and sees the development of this partnership project as part of our ongoing commitment in supporting Interactive to make a positive difference to the lives of over one million disabled people living in London. Inclusion should simply be the core of best practice for every sports provider in the country and we feel that we are leading by example through this partnership work and intend to support other organisations to be able to further enhance Sports M.A.T.E in the future".
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation's Inclusion and Equalities department works to ensure not only all Foundation led projects are inclusive, but also those in the local communities. The Foundation works with a number of key partners to provide adaptable disability awareness training courses that also promote equality within sport. The aim is to share this best practice across local communities.
The Foundation is recognised for having a number of disability awareness tutors with the expertise to deliver disability awareness training. This enables the chance to offer training to coaches, staff, organisations and businesses that intend to offer a more inclusive service.