Community mentoring scheme ‘amazing’
14 October 2016
Footballers are mentoring young people in their community after teaming up with a University engagement project.
Grangetown’s Grange All Stars are sponsored by Community Gateway, part of the University's Transforming Communities programme, but the partnership goes way beyond providing a new kit.
The players, supported by Community Gateway, work with young people every Wednesday evening at Grange Pavilion in Grangetown to support their personal development and football skills.
All Stars manager Ahmed Jama said: “It’s great to see so much potential in these young players, they’re so enthusiastic and work together as a team.
“It’s also fantastic to see a prosperous community spirit, with parents and older siblings volunteering their time, something we are proud to support and be involved in.”
All Stars were only formed in July 2014 by a group of friends but are already making their mark on the pitch.
They won the Cardiff Combination League Two title last season and have started the season well in League One.
And the players are finding it just as rewarding to be able to put something back into their community.
Defender Zeeshan Sadiq said: “It is great to see how much it means to the kids to have these sessions.
“I love the multicultural environment, and being able to improve the children’s personal development through the mentoring scheme with Cardiff University is amazing.”
Team captain Owain Jones added: “Not only is it teaching the children, it’s giving the members of our team the opportunity to coach a skill that we use in our professional roles and on the pitch.”
The partnership between the club and the community aligns with two of Community Gateway’s themes – ‘healthy & active Grangetown’ and ‘places & activities for young people’.
Ali Abdi, Community Gateway Partnerships Manager, said: “We recognise that lots of children play in Grange Gardens already and requests from the community, particularly parents, have included structured activities which we’ve been delighted to offer as part of the weekly programme.
“Having previously introduced pop up cricket, table tennis and established the Run Grangetown Running Group, it was a perfect addition to add football coaching with mentoring children at the Grange Pavilion delivered by champions Grange All Stars in a safe environment."
Community Gateway works hand-in-hand with residents in Grangetown to make the area an even better place to live.
The University’s wider Transforming Communities programme involves collaborating with Welsh Government and communities in Cardiff, Wales and beyond in areas including health, education and wellbeing.