More than 1,000 Hartlepool people are getting involved in a sport scheme thanks to the backing of a community fund.
Praise has been given to UK Steel Enterprise which has helped to get young people across town involved in Sports Pop-Up sessions this summer.
It’s all thanks to a grant of £2000 from UK Steel Enterprise’s Community Support Fund.
The town’s Belle Vue Community Sports & Youth Centre got help from the cause which is Tata Steel’s business-support subsidiary.
It has led to Pop-Up sessions being introduced in local parks and housing estates. The money has paid for the leaders and staff needed to take football, cricket, hockey, and other sports to youngsters on their doorsteps.
Belle Vue Centre, on Kendal Road, is recognised for the work it does to provide a range of activities for young people.
It has sports halls, a gym, dance studio, meeting rooms, a youth club and other programmes.
Senior youth co-ordinator, Barry Kennedy, said: “We know that young people are more likely to attend activity sessions close to their home and that’s why we wanted to want to take these Sports Pop-Up sessions into the heart of communities.
“If we can engage with young people on the streets and encourage them to take part in positive activity then we hope they will also come along to the centre or other local youth clubs. We can also target areas that may have been highlighted as a problem for anti social behaviour by police and other agencies,” he added.
“Fund raising is a constant headache for us as many budgets are being cut so without UKSE’s help we couldn’t have done this.
“We have been able to organise two-hour sessions twice a week for 26 weeks through the summer and that means activities for about 1040 young people.”
Joan Cook, of UK Steel Enterprise, said: “Providing healthy, fun activities for young people not only benefits them but also helps to build stronger community relationships.
“Our Community Support Fund is designed to help improve life for anyone living in our steel areas and we’re very pleased we were able to back this project.”