Street Elite, the groundbreaking back-to-work community project pioneered by The Lord's Taverners and Cricket for Change charities, have received the support of Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, who attended one of the scheme’s 'Take Back the Streets' sports festivals at the Linford Christie Outdoor Sports Centre in White City, London.
Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, said: "Initiatives like Street Elite are helping to ensure youngsters within the UK are being given an opportunity and the skillset to get back into education and ultimately employment.
"It has been great to see the graduates from the Street Elite programme leading the fight and passing their enthusiasm and knowledge to the youngsters in their local boroughs.
"Schemes like these are targeting the roots of the problems which are dividing so many communities and it is refreshing to see the way sport can change them for the better."
Street Elite is a programme that uses sport to help disadvantaged young people develop the confidence and skills to get back into education and find work. At a time when the drop in sports participation amongst 16-19 year olds has become increasingly topical*, Street Elite also shows there is positive work taking place on the streets of the Capital.
Over the past six months the Street Elite scheme, supported by the Berkeley Group, has trained a group of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) and seen them gain coaching qualifications in cricket, rugby and futsal. The participants have since organised sessions with youngsters on local housing estates, inspiring them to get involved in sport and other positive activities which help address the kind of disillusion which led to the August 2011 riots across much of the country.