Birmingham Youth Sports Academy (BYSA) has announced the launch of a dedicated Mentoring Programme to help inspire and influence its players, with the objective of developing role models and ambassadors who could influence their own local communities.

In partnership with TSB, both organisations recognise the importance of BYSA and how the club encourages a younger generation to pursue their passion for sport and celebrate success.

Currently working with over 400 young people, the Academy has recently celebrated the graduation of it first cohort, marking the success of a number of their young players who, through the mentoring programme, have learnt core life skills alongside their passion in playing football.

Amer Awan, Chairman of BYSA explains: “We are extremely excited about the launch of the mentoring programme and have high hopes for how it can positively influence the lives of young people throughout the Birmingham community. We saw a lot of parents at our most recent graduation ceremony and were overwhelmed with all of the positive feedback and changes they have seen in their own children.”

Presenting the graduates with their certificates was David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner who stated: “Don’t underestimate the value of what you are doing, talking to people about good values and doing good things, makes for a better community.”

This cohort of youths came from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, but importantly they all live within inner city Birmingham, areas that are under the increasing threat of knife crime and in becoming disconnected with the rest of the city.

In their graduation speeches, the young men talked about their responsibilities to their families, how they could help their friends and sacrifice their time to invest in a better future for themselves.

Abid Khan, Vice Chairman of BYSA said: “BYSA is taking a stance against youth crime in our local community, by working with the young people and offering them an alternative via the mentoring project. We’re exceptionally proud of this project and the good it can provide the younger generation with a chance to inspire and shape their future for the better.”

The 12-week course covers a range of topics designed to help young people manage themselves and understand their role and responsibilities to their families and their community, including a session delivered by TSB on managing money.

The project will now be rolled out to other age groups as it becomes a permanent part of the BYSA calendar.

Founded in 2002, BYSA is more than just a sports academy with a clear mission to positively influence the lives of young people through positive role models.

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