Nominations for this year’s Community Star Awards are flooding in – and the entries are all top quality examples of deserving award winners.
Today we are on the hunt for a Youth Group of the Year, which could include sports clubs, theatre groups or other associations which help youngsters out in our communities. A fine example of a Youth Group of the Year nomination is Brighton City Table Tennis Club, led by coach Tim Holtam, 30.
The club is one of the city’s most influential organisations for developing talented youngsters and acts as a refuge for local children.
Whether it is regular table tennis sessions to keep kids off the streets or once-in-a-lifetime trips to the Olympic Games in London, the club’s focus is keeping members engaged.
Last year, it began offering new sessions targeting young people at risk of school exclusions – a lifeline that could prove invaluable to children currently struggling to find their feet in school.
Paul Bergin, 19, has been a coach and player at the club for four years. After failing to engage himself at school, he found a new lease of life in the sport and pays testament to the club for helping get his life going in the right direction.
He said: “It has become a massive part of my life. I play every day either training, competing or coaching at a national and international level. I now feel like I have a purpose. I now want to go to university so I can train while studying and eventually become a level four coach.”
The club has grown impressively since it was first formed in February 2007 and now employs six home-grown coaches who work in an expanding network of schools, youth centres and residential care homes.
If you know of a team or club who might be suitable for our Youth Group of the Year award, let us know using the details below. Your vote could see it picking up a prize at the Community Star Awards in November.