Mo Farah returns to Hounslow to join forces with Brentford FC Community Sports Trust launch new sports programme in the boroughDouble Olympic, World and European Champion Mo Farah joined one hundred local young people at Feltham Community College to celebrate the launch of Motivate Hounslow, a new sports programme delivered in partnership between his charity, the Mo Foundation, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, and Sport Impact.
Motivate Hounslow, launched yesterday - Wednesday August 27, is aimed at inspiring local young people aged 14-25 to take up sport and physical activity and to make it part of their weekly routines.
The programme is funded by the National Lottery through a £250,000 grant awarded by Sport England.
It is also supported by Heathrow Community Fund, ISIS Waterside Regeneration, Syon Park, Carillion Parks Management, Hounslow Council and Brentford FC.
Activities on the day included football, American flag football, tennis, boxing, basketball, and trampolining; all delivered by coaches from Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and local clubs.
At the launch ceremony, held in the presence of Councillor Corinna Smart, Mayor of Hounslow, and Seema Malhotra, MP for Feltham and Heston, Britain’s most successful athlete talked about how sport had changed his life growing up in Hounslow.
Mo Farah, pictured above with the three Motivators - those employed to lead the programme, said: “If it wasn’t for sport and athletics I wouldn’t be around.
“I’m lucky to have sport to help me.
"Thanks to Sport England for giving us these funds.
"To be able to help kids is absolutely amazing.
"I want to be able to support the next Mo.
"If there are 2,000 kids we can pick ten kids to make it, give them a chance a say 'look this is where I started, I was just like you at that age'."
Tania Farah, Chair of the Mo Farah Foundation, said: “We are really excited to be doing this programme as we get to work with Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and Sport Impact who have the experience at ground level working with kids.
"We wanted to start in Hounslow; this is where we are from and this is where our heart still lies.
"We are really excited.”
Alan Watkinson, Partnership Director of Sport Impact, said: “What is quite emotional for me is the involvement of Mo and Tania – both top athletes at this school.
"For them to come back and to put so much into this community is something that I am incredibly proud of and this is what Olympic legacy is about.”
Neil Young, Motivate Hounslow Project Manager (Brentford FC Community Sports Trust), said: “To be working in partnership with the Mo Farah Foundation and Sport Impact is an important development for the Trust.
"Inspiring this hard to reach age group to take up sport and physical activity will require collaborative working between like-minded organisations.
"It is a challenge that we are ready for.”
Dominika, 19, a participant, said: "Today I did boxing trampolining and tennis.
"It went really well and I really enjoyed myself doing them.
"I got rewarded with a goodie bag and a signed T-shirt from Mo for doing well in the boxing.
"Sport plays a big role in my life.”
Mike Diaper, Sport England Director of Community Sport, said: "It’s great to be working with innovative projects, like Motivate Hounslow to offer people the chance to get into sport in a way that best suits them.
“The investment being made through the Community Sport Activation Fund is making a real difference at a very local level.
"I’m particularly pleased that more than half the funding is going into projects in deprived areas, helping more people develop a lifelong sporting habit.”
The Community Sport Activation Fund is investing a total of £47.5m of funding over five funding rounds.
Already 156 projects have shared in £27.2 million of funding over three rounds, receiving grants of between £50,000 and £250,000 to provide grassroots sport at a very local level.