The Women’s Sports Programme Manchester (WSPM) has scooped Spirit of 2012’s Connecting Communities Award at this year’s BEDSAs, beating Lord Taverners Wicketz and Reach Up/Active Burnsgreave in a public vote.
The Spirit of 2012 Connecting Communities Award recognises an organisation, individual or project that has had a significant impact on bringing communities together through sport or physical activity.
WSPM was shortlisted by Spirit of 2012 for bringing together women from a number of faiths to play football, practice martial arts or take part in other kinds of physical activity. Crucially, each session included time at the end for refreshments and for the women to get to know each other.
“WSPM have done fantastic work in the Prestwich area of Manchester, creating opportunities for women to get active and to make new connections,” said Debbie Lye, Chief Executive, Spirit of 2012. “Because the programme is women-only, there are no issues around modesty and the group has felt free to try new sports, talk about their different faiths and beliefs, and make lasting, supportive friendships with one another. We’re delighted to see it’s been such a huge success.”
The programme is a joint initiative from the Council of Christians and Jews, the Near Neighbours programme of the Church Urban Fund and the Manchester Maccabi Community Sports Club.
"I’d like to thank all our funders, the women who attend and God," said Sadi Akram who helps run the programme. "I'm also so grateful to those who nominated and voted for us. We look forward to building on what we have achieved!"