With BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2016 coming to the Genting Arena later this year, sporting fever has taken over the city.
On Monday (17/10), Birmingham’s very own Olympic medal winning sprinter Katharine Merry launched the BBC ‘Reclaim Sport’ kit collection project launched at Hillstone Primary School in Shard End.
The BBC and partners are calling on the people of Birmingham to donate their used and unwanted sports kit and equipment to help encourage physical activity in the city. Over twenty collection bins have been placed in schools and supermarkets across the city so far. The full list is here bbc.co.uk/getinspired
Reclaim Sport is a partnership with Birmingham City Council, Sport Birmingham, BBC WM 95.6 FM, BBC Birmingham and BBC Get Inspired.
The teams are working together to collect used sports equipment that can be redistributed to give Birmingham kids a chance to be more active.
Headteacher of Hillstone Primary School Gill Sparrow said: “Hillstone School is very proud to be involved in the Reclaim Sport project. We are passionate about sports and arts at Hillstone so that we can give children an inspiring all round education. After a summer of exciting sporting activities from elite sports people at Rio it can be frustrating that at the grass roots level there can be barriers to getting involved with sport. Reclaim Sports helps to remove the potential financial barrier and turns it into a lever to encourage and enable our community to get involved with sport.”
Katharine Merry, added: “This is a brilliant idea which everyone in the city can be part of and help lots of local children get active. We all have sports equipment and gear that we no longer use! I hope the idea will be picked up on a national scale once everyone has seen how successful it is in Birmingham.”
The collections will go to community organisations based in some of the most deprived areas across the city. Groups like Community Hubs and Fit Cap provide opportunities for people to take part in sport and physical activity; developing their physical and mental wellbeing, but also improving their social skills.
Cllr Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This is a great initiative which will help children take part in their favourite sports. It’s also fitting that Birmingham, with its sporting heritage and ambitions, is enabling those in disadvantaged areas to Reclaim Sport and improve their health and wellbeing through physical activity.”
Sharon Fuller, Project Lead for Get Inspired said: “This really is a chance for the people of Birmingham to give back to the wider community and help the next generation enjoy the benefits of sport. Whether it’s a football top, pair of trainers, rugby ball or a hockey stick no donation is too small. We want the people of Birmingham to take this opportunity to rummage through their wardrobe, get rid of those unused items they’ve had for years and donate to this fantastic cause.”
Mike Chamberlain, Chief Executive at Sport Birmingham said: “We are delighted to be working with the BBC on Reclaim Sport. As a lead organisation for the development of sport and physical activity in Birmingham, we would urge people to really get behind this initiative in order to create sporting opportunities for those who live in the most deprived areas of our City.”
Lance Haggith, a previous BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero award winner for his charity work will be helping project manage the kit collection.
If you would like to make a donation you have until 30th November to drop off your youngster’s outgrown sportswear and any fitness gear that never gets used at one of the collection points.
You can find a full list of the collection bins in your local area on the BBC Get Inspired website at bbc.co.uk/getinspired
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016 will be live from Birmingham’s Genting Arena on Sunday 18 December. Tickets are on sale now from the Birmingham Updates ticket store here Tickets are priced at £45 plus admin fees, see website for full details. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult, minimum age 10 years.