I’d like to start by thanking each and every one of you who has played or continues to play a part within team DMSF, however big or small. We genuinely couldn’t laugh, cry, engage, inspire, lose, draw and [most of the time] win, without YOU! Thank you; the board and I want to send our sincere appreciation and gratitude.
Credit must also go to Sport England for their on-going support and recognition that DMSF is changing lives. This last year has seen us work in collaboration with them on the DMSF Hub, a 3-year initiative designed by young people FOR young people, targeting 14 -21 year olds – an irregular and consistently absent group when accessing opportunities through sport. As well as coaching and mentoring on the doorstep of local communities, key to the success of this programme are the DMSF Hub Festivals, which have been a huge success and very well received.
We would like to thank all our commercial sponsors and partners for their continued commitment. Your generosity, advocacy and support is essential to our continued survival and has enabled us to thrive and prosper artistically and benefit the community over the past year.
Thanks also to those very generous individuals who quietly and consistently support us via Virgin Money Giving. This on-going financial support is crucial in helping us provide equipment, transport, competition fees and so much more to our young people. If you haven’t already done so, you can donate using the following link:
At our new HQ at the National Squash Centre & Regional Arena in East Manchester we are ferociously committed to young people full stop. Our efforts are driven by a passion not only to support young people to change their lives for the better, but to play our role in that better change.
It’s not an easy task, in fact it can often at times feel like an endless battle of wills; a constant strategic battle to secure funding, a timely battle to build relationships, to develop trust and also an emotional battle as our young people are always on the move – both physically and emotionally. By their very nature young people are transient, they change their minds, they try new things – in other words they evolve and grow.
However the common dominator that fuels and sustains our inspiration and remains consistent are simple. Our Values.
What is special about our organisation is that for the most part our Board, coaches, mentors, and volunteers see their own reflection in the eyes of the kids we support. We look like them, we talk like them and we have walked a similar path. This reflection should not be underestimated because what our participants tell us is that DMSF is like a family. What our participant’s parents tell us is they wish DMSF existed when they were growing up and what our coaches and mentors do is to break down barriers, provide a sense of purpose and by doing so enable aspirations to thrive.
For every young person reached so far, thousands are still being missed. It’s a tough job, with enormous pressures, but we MUST and we WILL stick at it.
High quality Physical Education really matters. That’s what our teachers, our Academies and our young people tell us. We, and they, recognise that sport is a catalyst for change – it’s not an after thought it’s a NEED to do. Why? For many young people sport not only underpins their physical and emotional well being but it also underpins their ability to achieve in life.
Lisa McEvoy’s two children take part in our programme. These are her words;
“Absolutely amazing, I can’t tell you how proud I am not just of my children but all the children and team DMSF, what a family! You and the team inspire children to believe in themselves and to achieve what I’m sure so many people didn’t think possible. You all dare every child, to strive to be the best they can be and dream big. If only we had more people who believed that children don’t have to be the next Olympians (however that would be nice), to feel like winners, but that their enjoyment and self satisfaction when they achieve and your delight when they do is what makes this team special.
We enjoyed the Graduation celebrations, amazing, laughter, tears and the great sense that everyone’s in it together, as a team, as a family, children, parents and carers. Sponsors. You did yourself proud”.
What we do is more than sport. When our coaches and mentors go into a school, an Academy or community venue it stands for something so much more powerful. It stands for opportunity.
Nelson Mandela understood it. He used a ball, a rugby ball to bring people together and to strip away hatred. In 1995 at the Rugby World Cup, South Africa surpassed all expectation to beat the might of the New Zealand All Blacks to lift the trophy and leave a legacy of hope. When it comes to our legacy, it is our values that lead the way; Opening up Opportunities, Acting with Integrity, and Instilling Resilience in each and all to achieve our goals.
With exciting announcements and new faces joining the team in 2017 we’re sprinting into the New Year – COME JOIN US.
To hubby Vicente – no doubt you thought I forgot you, again. Not this time, thank you!