David Ward, a local councillor and experienced academic from Leeds Metropolitan University, is managing a Partnership that has seen Bradford FC actively engaging with the local BME community in the Manningham District. Previously although the BME community was geographically concentrated around the Club's grounds local people would not access the club's facilities or attend the football matches. The Partnership has managed to successfully engage a high number of disaffected youth in an area affected during the 2001 Race Riots and has helped to raise the club's profile as a concerned and committed part of the neighbourhood.
The partnership began by gaining essential knowledge about the community needs and by widely publicising the project through various networks. A range of partnerships and projects have developed, with the club and the community working together to generate new opportunities and social programmes. By 2005, a charitable company limited by guarantee had been formed to assist in the development of new funding opportunities to finance sport, education and community activities. These have included a football tournament, a DFES-approved 'Playing for Success Centre', and the use of the Bangladesh Resource Centre's sports hall as the venue for football coaching. Health, music and business education have also been addressed, with events targeted at Bangladeshi women and also use of the club for rehearsals for 'Bradford: The Musical' - part of the Bradford Festival - and pre-match or half time musical performances for local schools.
Engagement with the BME community has increased and a THES Award recognised this in early 2006. The University is now being approached by other sports clubs for help with similar community projects.
For more information contact:
David Ward, Leeds Metropolitan University, firstname.lastname@example.org