Our next Building Stronger Communities blog takes a look at The Pythian Club, which aims to reduce youth violence and improve community cohesion in Nottingham.
Formed in 2014 by Ben Rosser, The Pythian Club operates from the Heathfield Community Centre and offers sport, art and educational programmes within the local community.
We’re supporting young people that have maybe made mistakes, made wrong decisions in life. The Pythian Club are there to pick them up and say that we believe in them. Ben told us.
The club has a strong emphasis on empowering young people from disadvantaged and/or Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. Members of these communities may be detached from services, socially excluded or vulnerable and therefore, at risk of falling into anti-social behaviour and crime. The club aims to improve life for everyone who joins the club by working with them to address their social, educational and health needs through participation in group activities and sport. By supporting their development, the club leaders hope to give young people the confidence and focus needed to play a more productive role in the community.
With our guidance, we hopefully can see them go onto the right path, so they can have a good life moving forwards.
The Pythian Club has grown rapidly over the last eight years and continues to grow membership numbers and increase what it offers to the local community. Every week, The Pythian Club connects with over 300 young locals and engages them in activity sessions. Football is one of the most popular activities but they also run regular sessions for basketball, boxing, tennis and more. The positivity, teamwork and friendship offered by team sports helps to build confidence in everyone who attends the sessions.
Through unique and specialised programmes, the Club empower young people with an enhanced sense of self-esteem, instilling a growth mindset and increasing their self-awareness and confidence.
Coming from a diverse range of backgrounds, the staff of The Pythian Club is able to provide mentorship to an equally diverse group of young people. Their aim is not to become authority figures but instead become trusted confidants and relatable role models for whomever needs their support. For many of their membership, the words of The Pythian Club’s staff carries more weight than the other adults in their lives. As a result, the club is able to help local schools ensure that their students attend and are engaged with their work, incentivised by after-school activities.
Recognising that a number of vulnerable young people live further afield in places like Clifton and struggle to fund travel, Ben and his team decided to take The Pythian Club to them. By being able to deliver sports and activities straight to the doorsteps of kids at risk, ensured that the needs of those local communities could also be met.
Since we've gone out to Clifton, we've had a reduction of about 70% in anti-social behaviour. Sports Development Manager, George Lindsay told us.
Although their core membership are largely aged between 11 to 25 years old, The Pythian Club are now working with much younger children within local primary schools. Which means they are having an impact on people at a much younger age, so their prospects for the future are much brighter as a result. The impact of the club is felt beyond the young people it supports as families see the difference they are making. They have even launched a secret garden project, which is a safe space that allows parents to relax and socialise, while their kids run around in a tranquil environment.
If I can change one person’s life for that one day, that’s my job. Being that support mechanism, being that positive role model - it’s what we do on a daily basis.
George’s words perfectly sum up the ethos of The Pythian Club and they illustrate how seriously the staff take their responsibilities as key members of the local community. The importance of developing stronger, safer communities is exemplified by the work that Ben, George and the rest of The Pythian Club staff undertake everyday.
In 2021, Ring teamed up with Made by Sport to support organisations like The Pythian Club to help make neighbourhoods stronger and safer through community activity and sport. In 2023, we will continue to run the Building Stronger Communities Programme with Sported.
Learn more about the organisations we work with here: https://www.ring.com/community