Education is one of the 6 Social Focus Areas that Laureus Sport for Good provides funding and support to enable programmes to tackle, aligned to the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs).
Laureus’ objective in this area is to increase access to and completion of education amongst young people and children. The global pandemic is creating a dangerous precedent that a whole generation of children may miss out on vital stages of their education – a challenge which many of the young people that Laureus supports are facing all of the time. Sport is a proven tool to re-engage young people and provide them with access to the education they may otherwise miss out on.
Case Study – Tayla Brade – Track Academy (UK)
At a young age, Tayla Brade was the victim of sexual abuse and struggled with mental health issues for several years as a result. She became trapped in an extremely negative cycle of staying indoors and isolating herself from her peers.
Tayla first joined Track Academy around the time of the London Olympics in 2012. She explained: “Lots of clubs in London were asked to help test out the track at the Olympic Stadium, and I took part in a 4 x 100m relay. It was amazing. We came third, and Coach Connie (Henry) told me I couldn’t keep my bronze medal if I didn’t keep coming to Track Academy.”
Training at Track Academy gave her something positive to pour her energies into, and offered a positive escape from her problems. In the last seven years, Tayla has gained a national bronze medal in the 60m and has been Middlesex champion in the 100m, amongst other accolades. Her personal best in the 100m is a 11.8 seconds.
Tayla says that Track Academy was instrumental in keeping her focus at school. “Maths and science were my worst subjects,” she said. “Yvonne Simpson would ban me from competitions if I didn’t study and I hated them for it! But it worked.”
This year, Tayla graduated from the University of the Arts London with a BA Hons in Journalism. During her degree, Tayla spent one day a week in the Track Academy office helping with administrative tasks. Now, she has taken a full-time role as Events Multi-Skills Co-ordinator, and coaches student athletes in her spare time.
Tayla plans to continue her work with young people, mentoring those who have had a similar past to her own. She said: “I can really help them to understand the things that Track Academy can do to help them, as they helped me.”
Annual Review 2019 – Education Headline Facts
In 2019 alone, as a direct result of Laureus Sport for Good funding and support:
285,362 young people participated in Education programmes
74,397 showed improved attendance, engagement and/or retention in education
28,350 have increased aspirations for further/higher education