Community projects across South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire used the inspiration of the Games to bring communities together with £20,000 worth of grants issued to a wide variety of community events that had a sporting and cultural element to them.
Funding was available to help develop new community events or to enhance existing events that help bring communities together. This included one-off events and additional weekly sports sessions, with a particular focus on family activities.
In all, 39 events across the two counties received funding with more than 4,500 people attending a Community Games event and almost 600 volunteers making them happen.
In Batley, 50 women attended a rounders competition which included an Olympics inspired opening ceremony. The event was organised by Ready Steady Active, a social enterprise that aims to bring more physical activity and sports opportunities to everyone regardless of age, experience or background.
Rashida Salloo, founder of Ready Steady Active, commented: “It was amazing to see so many women and girls come together from all backgrounds and ages to play in the tournament, which had a lovely community feel to it.
“There was some brilliant competition amongst the girls and it was great to see people from different communities getting on so well with each other and building new friendships.
“To see so many Muslim women playing sport is great in breaking down perceptions and barriers within the community. It just shows that given the right opportunity these girls do want to play sport.
In Rotherham, a Community Games funded Family Fun Day in Eastwood (what venue?) has led to a weekly family walking group, particularly targeting eastern European families in Rotherham to get the whole community out and about this summer.
Parveen Qureshi MBE, Managing Director of United Multicultural Centre, who ran the event, said: “It is great to be able to run a Community Games event to bring the local community together and celebrate all that is great about our local area.
“We have had a lot of tension locally between the different sections of the community but being able to bring them together in an event like this is a great way to help to break down these barriers.”
Nigel Harrison, CEO of Yorkshire Sport Foundation, added: “The Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games were great spectacles and we wanted to use the inspiration of those events to get communities active.
“The Community Games fund attracted a great variety of applications and we were delighted to be able to support so many projects.”