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Sports Project

The 12-months to 31st March 2013 were very successful for the Sports Project based from Himmat, Halifax. We have continuously improved both the quality and quantity of the work we do and aim to keep increasing this so that we are affecting more and more young people through sport.

Himmat Football Teams
The 2012/13 season proved to be record-breaking, in that we now offered 4 different age groups playing competitively within the Calderdale Junior Football League. On top of the 2 existing ones, we also started under-12's and under-16's teams which were formed thanks to the recruitment of new sports staff. Qamar Zaman who ran the under-12's team was already a Himmat employee and Asad Qureshi, who ran the under-16's, was a local sports coach who came on board as a volunteer.

The newly-formed under-16's team would go on to win their league and showed great attitude and commitment throughout the season. This was a particular success considering that this group of players would not have been playing association football were it not for the formation of the team.

During the 2012/13 football season, we re-formed our partnership with Calderdale College and once again became one of their local sports partners. This allowed us to provide winter training for the children involved in the football teams and on average each child received 2 hours of coaching a week from Football Association qualified coaches as well as 3 hours of contact time on a match day. There were around 70 children registered across the 4 teams so the amount of contact time we provided over 9 months of the year was quite high.

In the winter of 2012, it was decided that the next step of development for the sports project would be to offer a 2nd sport. After speaking to local children, it was decided that the sports project would form a competitive junior cricket team. With Asad Qureshi as the lead worker, the Greetland Himmat under-17 cricket team was formed in March 2013.

Because of the lack of cricket pitches in The Park Ward, the team's home ground was chosen as Greetland as this was the closest pitch that was available. Research shows that this is the first junior cricket team to be formed in The Park Ward and the team has already had 17 players register to play, which is very high compared to other teams in the Halifax Junior Cricket League.

The cricket project has proven to be a success with Himmat now engaging further children through sport who were previously beyond our reach.

Education/Role Model Projects
Using sport as a tool to engage children we are now looking at further ways to increase their development which might not necessarily include playing sport.

We recently enrolled 3 of the members of the under 16 football team onto the Community Sports Leadership Award course which is run by Calderdale Council.

2 members of the cricket team were recently taken to meet Amir Khan before his boxing fight and were allowed back-stage access to see how a professional boxing show is put together.

The sports project has also built a relationship with the Kick It Out racism group who aim to combat racism at all levels of football. With their assistance we are looking to organise a 2-night residential to London in August where our football players can play against other culturally diverse clubs and build links with them. This residential will also allow the children we are involved with to visit Notting Hill carnival and allow them to learn about different cultures in a fun environment.

The Future
It was decided in March 2013, that in order for the sports project to reach its true potential then changes needed to be made in its structure and the way the project worked. The club's management committee was updated and Asad Qureshi was voted in as Club Chairman. Khuram Majid was retained as secretary, Israr Hussain was retained as treasurer and Arshad Mahmood was given the role of Sports Development Officer.

With this change in the committee members, it was also decided that the sports project would be given a new name when affiliating with the various sports leagues and sports governing bodies. The new name was to be the "Halifax Sports Club", with the official wording on correspondence being "Halifax Sports Club - A Himmat Project". This change of name reflects the fact we now offer more then one sport and also allows us to highlight our open door/inclusion policy.

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