fbpx Media release: Programme working to inspire young people into new opportunities in sport and physical activity sector - London Youth

17 October 2023

A sports leadership programme funded by the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is working to increase the skills and knowledge of 100 young people to take advantage of a boom in job opportunities in the sport and physical activity sector.

The Sports Leadership Academy will support young people, aged 14-24, who live in some of London’s most underserved communities.

The sports and physical activity labour market has recently seen 42% growth, employing more than twice the 16–24-year-olds working in the wider economy (CIMSPA). The sector is expanding rapidly with new opportunities and roles meeting demand in areas such as community and professional sport, health and fitness, education and training, and sports business.

The Sports Leadership Academy will develop, deliver and communicate a set of pathways so that underserved young Londoners can access these jobs and opportunities.

The Sports Leadership Academy is a one-year programme, funded by London’s VRU, and delivered by London Youth, StreetGames and League Leaders. It will provide exciting, fun and positive development opportunities to inspire and upskill the next generation of London’s sports workforce.

Over the next nine months, young people will take part in a series of bespoke training opportunities, practical work experiences, and Sports Industry Insight Sessions to become more work ready and have greater knowledge and understanding of opportunities in the sector.

Central to this will be the newly-created Youth Academy Board. Their voice and lived experiences will be the key driver behind the design of the curriculum ensuring the programme is created by young people, for young people.


Lib Peck, Director of the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit, said:  “A key part of our prevention approach is investing in positive opportunities for children and young people.

“The Sports Leadership Academy is a key part of our sports programme and is a really good opportunity to support young people into employment and careers.

“Sports activities can play a leading role in a young person’s life and as a Violence Reduction Unit, our focus is not only funding those important interventions but also ensuring we’re supporting young people to keep them safe in order that they can thrive.”


Kelly Dummer, Head of Programmes, London Youth said: “We are delighted to be working with StreetGames and League Leaders, in partnership with the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit, to deliver the Sports Leadership Academy. At London Youth, we tackle the inequalities faced by young people by combining the power of youth work and sport, and working with our member youth organisations across the city. The Sports Leadership Academy will help young people develop both life and professional skills, and build knowledge and understanding of job opportunities and pathways into roles within the sports world.”


James Gregory, Area Director, StreetGames said: “Part of the StreetGames End Game is that all young people living in underserved communities should have the opportunity to access development pathways that will support them to become volunteers, coaches and community leaders. We’re pleased to work with London Youth and League Leaders on this sector-shifting pilot programme to help realise this vision!”


Paul Jenkins, Founder & CEO, League Leaders said: “As a charity helping young people disengaged with physical activity, we know that they are desperately lacking meaningful opportunities to develop skills for industry and apply their sports sector interests in ‘real life’ public, commercial and charitable contexts. Our job, alongside London Youth and StreetGames, is to gain their trust and provide them with opportunities and personal development where the sports industry has to take notice.

So far, we have worked with the Sports Leadership Youth Academy Board, across the three co-creation sessions. It’s important to us that young leaders are involved in co-creating part of the programme, to ensure they develop their own solutions to the problems they face.”


The Sports Leadership Academy is looking for partners within the sports sector to host Sport Industry Insight Sessions and work experience opportunities for young people on this programme. If this may be of interest, please contact Radhika Kalia, Sports Programmes Officer at London Youth radhika.kalia@londonyouth.org

Visit the Sports Leadership Academy page for more information.

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