Date published: 09/11/2012
Barclays’ community sports partnership with Football Foundation – Barclays Spaces for Sports (BS4S) – was awarded the prestigious ‘Sponsorship / Partnership of the Year’ category at the inaugural Football Business Awards, held at Chelsea Football Club’s home ground, Stamford Bridge, last night.
The BS4S programme is the UK’s largest ever sports-based Corporate Social Responsibility Programme. It has seen one of the biggest banks in the world partner with the UK’s largest sports charity, the Football Foundation, to develop 200 multi-sports sites in disadvantaged communities right across the country. These facilities are used by over 53,000 people every week with participation, not sporting excellence, being the key ethos. Barclays has committed more than £37 million to BS4S since its inception, along with a further £30m donated and raised by the Football Foundation.
The Football Business Award is the sixth award that the BS4S programme has picked up. Previously BS4S has won: the ‘Community Programme Award’ at the Sport Industry Awards; the ‘BUPA Healthy Community Award’ at the Business in the Community Awards; ‘Best Grass Roots Sports Sponsorship’ at the Hollis Sponsorship Awards; ‘Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of the Year’ at the Peace and Sports Awards; and the ‘Sports Business Award’ at the 2010 Global Sports Forum.
David Wheldon, Head of Brand, Reputation and Citizenship at Barclays, said: “Barclays Spaces for Sports ensures tens of thousands of people each week can access sporting facilities in places where otherwise they would struggle. This is what the partnership was intended to do, and we are delighted it is achieving just that – and for all those involved in making this partnership a true success they have been recognised for their hard work and dedication.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Barclays Spaces for Sports has provided the model and set the standard for sports CSR programmes. It has seen more than 200 multi-sport facilities developed in some of most the deprived parts of the country, so I am delighted that it has been recognised at the inaugural Football Business Awards.
“The sites that the BS4S scheme has built not only enable more people to become active and healthy, they have also regenerated communities and have become important venues for people of all ages and backgrounds to gain qualifications and employment.
“It is fitting that BS4S should win this particular award because the enduring success of BS4S has been built on very strong personal relationships, a strong joint team ethic and a shared belief that BS4S is doing so much to provide access to sport in deprived communities. I want to pay tribute to our partner, Barclays, as well as everyone who has helped to deliver the BS4S programme since it was launched in 2004. I would also like to thank the thousands of volunteers that regularly give up their time at the BS4S sites to run teams and community projects for the benefit of their local areas. Without these inspirational individuals, grassroots sports simply could not take place.”