Football changes lives
For more than ten years, the St Matthew’s Project has offered free football coaching to young people in the South Brixton area. It’s much more than just a football club bringing benefits beyond the football pitch. Lee Dema explains more about what they do.
We regularly see 150 young people a week at our football and sports sessions aimed at young people from across Tulse Hill and Brixton. We’ve also introduced new sports, such as tennis, table tennis and boxing, to people who want to give them a go, as well as arranging trips, encouraging volunteering and an education and training programme for members over 16 years of age.
We currently have five football league teams playing their home fixtures at Brockwell Park and all eyes will be on the Under 16s as they play the semi-finals of the London Cup on Saturday 21 March on home turf. We wish them luck!
The girls only club meets on Saturdays at Ferndale Community Centre and are making a name for themselves regionally. This picture was taken at the Street Games ‘London Fives’ tournament at the Westway Centre, Ladbroke Grove in June last year. The St Matthew’s Project team were cup holders and we played close rivals Clapham Park, in the final.
She is leaping into Megan’s arms with Aramide running up to join them. Megan and Aramide are now coaches at our girls-only scheme and came through the scheme as participants.
Making sure activities stay free is vital if we want to keep this project open to everyone. If you play for a team there’s a signing on fee and £3 subs per match, but that’s it. Keeping things free means we need affordable facilities and sometimes that’s a struggle. We also have a recycled football boots scheme with Fulham FC, which makes a real difference to many of the young people here.
People who come to us say the project gives them confidence as well as new team mates and, if they need it, there’s one-to-one support from the coaching staff. Of course, it also keeps them fitter, which we hope will become a way of life.
Find out more
- If you’re interested in finding out more or signing up then visit the St Matthew’s Project website
- You can also donate via our local giving page
- Like the SMP Fan page on Facebook
Culture 2020 consultation
- Tell us about your club or favourite activity
- What does your club need to be more successful? Have your say on the draft sports strategy as part of the Culture 2020 consultation.