Halliwell and Rutherford inspire Hackney’s youth
Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford joined in a celebration to recognise the achievements of young Hackney residents and volunteers.
Hundreds of excited young people and proud parents packed into Hackney’s Springfield Youth Club Annual Awards, cheering as the celebrity guests were introduced to answer questions from the audience and present at the 53rd annual event on 25 February.
The youth club enjoys support from a range of big name sports personalities including president of the club, former racing driver, Sir Jackie Stewart who said: “I’m thrilled to be part of the club. I came here 50 years ago. It’s been a fantastic club for London and the Hackney area. The club has a great spirit. We have had many celebrities visit the club over the years and everyone is always impressed.”
The night kicked off with dance performances from Sam Saunders Performing Arts School and Nemesis dance group, supported by housing provider, Hackney Homes and High Hill Tenants and Residents Association.
More than 100 young people and volunteers were awarded for a range of triumphs including internal competition awards for successes in a variety of sports and outstanding achievements with club activities.
Club member Norbert Tutak,12, received the Tony Brise trophy for club member of the year and said: “It’s really great for me. I like doing new stuff, achieving and having fun. I’ve made a lot of friends since I have joined the club.”
Several awards were given to the local volunteers who dedicate their time to make the club such a success. Some awards were even named in honour of sports champions such as Olympian Tessa Sanderson, and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who have both visited the club previously.
This youth club is a great example of the work that the Hackney community can do. The local residents involved and volunteers of the club are an inspiration to us all. Hackney Homes continue to work closely with the local residents group, High Hill Tenants and Residents Association to support initiatives for our young residents and inspire and encourage them to achieve their goals.
The youth club for young people aged 10-18 was founded in 1961 and encourages young people in the Springfield, Upper Clapton area of Hackney to develop their skills in a variety of areas including sports and arts and to have a place to socialise. Springfield Youth Club has been awarded the London Youth Quality Bronze Mark in February 2015 for demonstrating good and best practice as a youth organisation.
Young residents interested in taking part in the Nemesis free dance classes can contact Hackney Homes Youth Engagement Officer, Sonia Bradley on 020 8356 7845.
Springfield Youth Club has a new website and for information about becoming a member or volunteering at the Youth Club visit www.springfieldclub.co.uk
Facilities of the club include a purpose-built sports hall, canteen, computer room, drama and art space. The club also runs sports sessions, residential courses, cooking classes, weekends away and a summer camp.
The club has always had an affiliation with Formula One and motor racing which originated from the original chair, the late Formula One commentator, Anthony Marsh JP.