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4 Dec 2020 | 15:15

England footballer Eric Dier has been appointed ambassador of Sported, the UK’s largest network of grassroots sport groups and community clubs.

The Tottenham Hotspur star wants to visit “as many of the sports groups as I can and witness for myself how much of a difference they are making to communities across the UK”.

Sported’s network consists of 2,600 clubs and groups representing 100 different sports and impacting on the lives of an estimated 500,000 young people. These groups tackle the most serious social issues affecting communities including youth violence, discrimination and poverty.

Eric Dier

 

Sported supports the local people running these groups by providing much needed professional expertise, resources and operational support, free of charge, to help their group survive and thrive.  

This week’s announcement came as Sported was unveiled as one of the three charities for the Times and Sunday Times 2020 Christmas Appeal. Funds raised by the appeal will help Sported to support community-based organisations that have been severely impacted, for example by loss of revenue, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eric said: “I’m really excited to be joining Sported as an ambassador. I know how much getting involved in sports can help young people and I’m looking forward to visiting as many of the sports groups as I can and witness for myself how much of a difference they are making to communities across the UK. It is a privilege to take on this role.”

BENEFIT

To kick off his new role, the Spurs defender visited HR Sports Academy in North London, which is part of the Sported network. It delivers quality sports sessions, sports education, and community development programmes to schools and disadvantaged communities.

It was set up by Mickela Ramsay-Hall, who was motivated to help young people in and around Haringey following the sudden death of her sister, the rise in youth gun and knife crime and cuts to youth services.

During his visit, Eric met with coaches, young leaders and young people who benefit from HR Academy’s support and heard first hand about the impact that it is having on their life.

Eric Dier chatting with young people

 

He said: “At HR Sports Academy it was fantastic to see how much enjoyment the young people clearly get from their involvement in these activities, but far more important to know the deeper difference it’s making in their lives.

“I’m humbled by the work of the group leaders who commit so much to supporting these young people with the challenges they face.” 

One in four young people live in poverty in the UK, with youth violence and mental health issues on the rise.

PROFILE

The Chief Executive of Sported, Nicola Walker, says role models like Eric can help to raise the profile of sport’s ability to impact positively on communities and individuals in need, and Sported’s role in sustaining community clubs.

“We’re thrilled to have Eric join the Sported family,” she said. “Judging by the reaction of all the young people during his visit to HR Sports Academy, he is a great role model for young people.

Eric Dier attending Sported launch

 

“We’re looking forward to working with him closely and continuing to make a real difference to young people’s lives.

“Our work at Sported is to ensure that groups like HR Sports Academy can grow their support for young people during these difficult times.” 

Find out more at sported.org.uk.