Former Blackburn footballer Jason Roberts launches programme to help Brent youths

Jason Roberts, wearing grey suit in the middle, launched the new scheme at the Stonebridge Pavillio

Jason Roberts, wearing grey suit in the middle, launched the new scheme at the Stonebridge Pavillion - Credit: Archant

A charity founded by a former Premiership striker has launched a new programme in Stonebridge aimed at equipping youngsters with key life skills through the means of sport.

Ex Blackburn ace, Jason Roberts returned to his home town to launch the programme, run by the Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF) in partnership with Hyde Group, dubbed ‘Hyde Sports Leaders International’ at Stonebridge Pavilion, in Hillside,

He said: “This is where I grew up, learned how to play football and gained confidence by having supportive people around me, and that is why my foundation is focusing on positive role models; believing in people so they can believe in themselves.

“This partnership with the Hyde Group focuses on employability and uses sport as a tool to gain important life skills such as friendships, team work and respect, and more importantly, how you can give use those skills you learn on the pitch for the rest of your life, whilst giving back to society.”

The programme, which is open to 80 youths from council estates across the Brent will run from October 2014 to March 2015.

At the end of the scheme, 20 youths will be given the opportunity to receive vocational training including youth work, leadership skills, mentoring and accredited coaching badges.

Only three young people will be selected for a once in a lifetime placement in Grenada to work and coach people with disabilities in the Caribbean country.

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Supporting the scheme, Ibrahim Taguri, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Brent Central, said: “I think the Jason Roberts Foundation and Hyde Group’s partnership is a brilliant project and it is wonderful to see Jason coming home to give something back and help local kids.

“We need to continue to support fantastic initiatives like this one.”