Game on after street sport charity earns £5,000 grant

Children including Alex Coxhead, right, and Freya Smith, second right, get ready for a game of laser tag as part of the Sport for Streets programme

Children including Alex Coxhead, right, and Freya Smith, second right, get ready for a game of laser tag as part of the Sport for Streets programme

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by

A SPORTS charity which brings activities to county streets is the latest to benefit from a Diamond Jubilee fund.

Yarnton’s Sport for Streets has received £5,000 from the Jubilee Fund for Oxfordshire.

The fund was set up by businesses and voluntary groups to reward good causes throughout the UK.

Sports for Streets organisers bring sports like hockey and skateboarding to the streets, transporting equipment in an old ambulance.

The movement works with housing associations in Carterton, Witney and Wallingford to get children involved in sport. It was set up by charity manager Dave Edwards and trustee Richard Gregory to involve youngsters in activities.

Games, crafts and even film-making are also encouraged.

Mr Edwards said it aims to “offer bonding activities for the young people, which can often patch up feuds, introduce young people to their neighbours or provide two hours of respite for their parents”.

This summer some 1,400 children took part with a further 700 going on to join other sports clubs.

Mr Edwards said: “We turn up to a bunch of youngsters who’ve never tried street hockey before and often find they think it’s too much of a ‘risk’. But once we have been through the game, how to play it safely and without risk, and once they are standing there in all the gear they just can’t wait to play.”

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Sport for Streets is part-funded through grants and with a donation from founder Richard Gregory’s company Ovation Systems.

While youngsters make contributions, he said, “we never recoup our money, so learning our application was successful and we had been awarded a £5,000 Diamond Grant was amazing news”.

Other charities to get £5,000 in Oxfordshire are Charlbury’s SpecialEffect, which provides computer games for the disabled,Oxford motor sport project Trax, young victims of crime support charity SAFE! and disabled advocacy group My Life My Choice.

The Oxfordshire Community Foundation is awarding the grants.

Lady Stephanie North, awarding panel chairman, said: “We are impressed by their breadth of coverage of the county, by the numbers of young people involved and by the imaginative energy and commitment of the organisation in involving young people in sports.”

Send nominations of up to 600 words to http://www.diamond@oxfordshire.org or Oxfordshire Community Foundation, 3 Woodin’s Way, Oxford, OX1 1HD.

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