Scaling New Heights – Birmingham City Foundation students take on Snowdon!

Birmingham City Foundation’s First Gen22 Programme launched on Monday, March 25th, taking a group of 25 young people to Wales for two days of activities and challenges.

The Gen22 Programme is a free-to-access project that creates opportunities for young people (16–24) from the West Midlands to gain employability-boosting skills and experiences, funded by The United by 2022 Legacy Charity. Birmingham City Foundation are proud to be delivering the sports career focused programmes.

Our first group of young people took part in a range of skills workshops, including public speaking, safeguarding, working with young people, and first aid. It’s a vital part of the programme to develop the skills and knowledge of the young people to go forward, promote best practices, and support and inspire the young people they work with to access sport.

When asked about the programme, Josh (participant) said, “The Gen22 Programme is a really good way to get young people involved in activities they might not normally participate in. It also gives them the chance to socialise with more people.”.

Day 1 of our two-day trip started with an activity like no other: heading up to Betws-Y-Coed, we swapped our phones and trainers for helmets and wetsuits before tackling the Afon Ddu Gorge. The group waded through the streams, climbed waterfalls, and even had the opportunity to jump from the rocks into the plunge pools below. With only the night to rest, Day 2 brought on an even bigger challenge for the group.

On Tuesday, March 26th, our group laced up the walking boots and, along with staff from the Birmingham City Foundation, took social action and hiked 1,085 metres above sea level to conquer Snowdon. The teamwork displayed by the group was phenomenal, encouraging everyone to push forward and reach the summit.

They took on this challenge to raise money for the Foundation and the brilliant work they do.

“Climbing Snowdon is one of my proudest moments of my life because, before now, I probably would have never even thought about climbing it. However, now that I have, I will want to do it again. It allowed me to distance myself from everything that was going on in my life, and it was almost therapeutic in the aspect of not having to worry about things for a day.” Josh (participant)

For the final part of the Gen22 programme, the group will complete 30 hours of work experience in a professional sports setting. The young people have already experienced coaching our Junior Blues teams and have supported young people to access our match day activations before home games at St Andrews @ Knighthead Park. As a team, they have already completed 315 hours of social action and work experience.

We asked the participants what their thoughts were on gaining work experience in the sports sector: “Coaching Junior Blues was a good experience for me because it gave me the chance to develop key life skills that will help me in the future. The programme was fun overall and gave me a good experience that I can use for coaching outside of the programme.”.

The Foundation’s Community Project Coordinator said, “On behalf of the Birmingham City Foundation, a massive thank you and well done to all involved. We are so proud of the teamwork

and enthusiasm you showed during the programme. You should all be so proud of what you have achieved.”.

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