MUFG Volunteer Aidan Jackson helps change lives through Laureus Sport for Good

“Volunteering and supporting young people is extremely rewarding,” says Aidan Jackson, an Analyst with world-leading financial group MUFG in London. “It was only a couple of years ago that I was applying for jobs and I’m more than happy to share my experiences with the young people.”
Laureus Sport for Good supports programmes around the world who use sport as a tool for social change. Sport is the hook, but the real aim of these programmes is to help young people better themselves in the classroom, in their communities and in everyday life.
In their role as Global Partner of Laureus, MUFG employees have been volunteering their time to share experiences and help offer life skills to young people in two programmes Laureus Sport for Good support in the UK: Fight for Peace and Street League.
Soon after joining MUFG in May 2019, Aidan put his hand up for selection as CSR champion in London. As part of the MUFG Corporate Social Responsibility programme, Aidan has worked with young people from Laureus supported programmes Street League and Fight for Peace, offering one-on-one CV advice and delivering communications workshops for the young people.
The impact of Covid-19 on the sport for development sector has been significant, but programmes have adapted and come up with creative ways of delivering provision for young people. With programming moving online due to social distancing measures, Aidan and his MUFG colleagues were able to support a wide range young people from across the UK, rather than just in the local area.
“I think it is fantastic that these charities have adapted as best as they can to continue to provide support online in what has been extremely testing circumstances, particularly for young people,” says Aidan.
“Without the structure of school or college during large stages of this pandemic, I can imagine it is very easy for young people to become disillusioned and this just highlights further the vital role that sport and these organisations can play in improving people’s lives.”
As a result of the impact of the pandemic on sport for development programmes, Laureus joined forces with leading organisations in the field to launch the Sport for Good Response Fund. The Fund aimed to ensure that Sport for Development programmes can continue in times of crisis and that vital new channels to young people can be created to ensure that they get the support they need both now and when we begin to emerge from this pandemic.
Street League uses football, fitness, and dance to engage 16 to 24-year-olds who are not in employment, education and training. While Fight for Peace uses a combination of combat sports, education and personal development to realise the potential of young people in communities affected by crime and violence.
Aidan has been impressed by the young people he’s worked with at both organisations. His biggest takeaway has been the sense of development and opportunity within the programmes themselves, with young people moving into coaching and leadership roles after completing the training.
“What is fantastic from what I have seen, is many of the young leaders have come through and benefited from the programmes themselves and are now giving back which highlights the strength of the work.
“As a keen sportsman myself I understand the important role that sport can play in people’s lives. It teaches vital skills that are needed for any career such as communication, discipline and being a team player.”
In the future, Aidan hopes to have the opportunity to get involved in more in-person volunteering once social distancing guidelines are relaxed.
“I’d love to get involved in further initiatives in the future and build on the work that I have already done. I’m more than aware how fortunate and privileged I am to find myself in the position I am in now and so giving a little back to young people trying to make their first steps is really the least I can do.”
Adam Fraser, Chief Executive of Laureus Sport for Good Global, thanked Aidan and every volunteer from MUFG for their efforts: “The programmes we support at Laureus Sport for Good all use sport as a tool to help young people be the best they can be in the classroom, community or workplace. Aidan and the other volunteers from MUFG are truly helping change the lives of the young people at both Street League and Fight for Peace, and we are so thankful for their support.”
Zinab Aldaraji, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at MUFG, said: “Working together with Laureus Sport for Good to make a difference to young people’s lives is even more important in these times.
Through the passion of enthusiastic volunteers like Aidan, we are able to raise aspirations of the local young people, share valuable life experiences and support them in developing vital transferable skills to ensure their success in the future.

Email Sign up

Email Sign-up

Sign up for all things Laureus

Get regular updates throughout the year