Trafford-based charity The Urban Fitness Collective (Tuf*C) uses sport to engage and inspire marginalised young people.
TNT recently spoke to Tuf*C’s Mike McKenzie, who spoke to us about the inspirational charity’s aims and goals.
Tuf*C engages ‘hard to reach’ youth in sports activities which have an “urbanised twist”. In addition to this, young people are motivated and leadership and development opportunities are provided.
The charity is a Community Interest Company (CIC) which was established two and a half years ago. Although newly established as a CIC, Tuf*C has been around for 15 years.
The urban leisure initiative began when Mike McKenzie, sat down with 5 young people from Old Trafford. As part of a funded SRB project, they were asked what they wanted to leave behind.
Tuf*C aims to provide “meaningful activities for young people who historically have said they’ve got very little to do”. Activities which have a “street edge” to them attract inner-city youth, whom the company “mainly” target.
The charity encourages youth to ‘tap into’ their talents. In getting, them in touch with their talents, they are transformed, becoming inspirational sports leaders.
Activities are offered throughout the summer and on every weekend throughout the year. Sessions are delivered in Stretford, Partington and Sale. Accredited leadership programs provide youth with an alternative pathway to typical academic routes.
These programs allow them to “offer something back to their community”. Mike says, “The message” is for youth “to see people who are not far removed from themselves in age and postcodes doing good things”.
Youth from disadvantaged backgrounds are supported, allowing them to feel a sense of “belonging” and “purpose”. “Hope” is given to those who society is “quick” to turn their backs on. Tuf*C encourages the youth to overcome all the stereotypes.
“Postcodes” are broken down and the youth are united, allowing them to make a positive contribution to communities.
TNT News Trishauna Stewart