Track Academy charity receives £21,000 boost from Brent Council to offer services to primary school children

Track Academy founder Connie Henry (front row centre) at the Kensal Green Safer Neighbourhood Team m

Track Academy founder Connie Henry (front row centre) at the Kensal Green Safer Neighbourhood Team meeting. Picture: Michele Martinoli - Credit: Archant

The founder of an athletics charity in Willesden is “over the moon” having received funding from Brent Council to deliver its skills programme to primary school pupils.

Connie Henry, founder of Track Academy, has secured a £21,000 grant to go into primary schools and deliver her athletics movement.

It is the first time the council has supported the charity, which has been offering young people athletics training, education sessions and one-to-one mentoring since its launch in 2007.

Connie said: "I'm over the moon. It's great that we can go into schools and offer children our 'skills builder' programme, which will deliver 10 essential skills to help these young people become successful.

"The younger we get children, the better. The younger we can effect change, the better. I'm really excited."

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She said the charity put in a bid to the council's Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy funding, where cash levied from developers as part of the planning process is allocated to local projects.

In April, Track Academy was the subject of a one-off television documentary, Run for Your Life, which aired on ITV.

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Shortly afterwards the charity launched a £24,000 fundraiser to continue delivering its crime-busting programmes. It has so far raised just south of £2,000 towards that target.

"The fundraiser is different," said Connie.

"This money is going to deliver a particular service - but the bottom line is they [the council] are helping."

She and Brent Council attended a Kensal Green Safer Neighbourhood (KGSNT) ward panel at Newman Catholic College earlier this month where the grant was announced.

Ian Britton, KGSNT chair, said: "It was extremely interesting and encouraging to hear that a local charity has been able to change so many young people's lives through sport, support and mentoring. This area has had so much violent crime - their projects give young people somewhere to turn to."

Track Academy operates out of Willesden Sports Centre and is partnered with the College of North West London, which supports Sport for Social Change.

To donate to the charity's fundraiser,

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