Rising American Football star Lucy Peaty has been able to “pursue her dreams” thanks to the bursary she received from Sport Society Success Network.
Linebacker Peaty was selected to train with the Great Britain American football side ahead of the 2018 Diamond Series, after dominating at Leeds Carnegie Chargers in the Sapphire Series that same year.
Since then, the 19-year-old has been a prominent feature for the national team. Unfortunately for Lucy and teammates, the current governing body for American Football (BAFA) is low on funding, meaning each player has to pay for their own equipment, kit, travel and training.
Upon learning of her success with her SSS bursary application, Lucy quickly used the funds wisely. She said: “My teammate was the one who originally told me about the bursary, so I decided to apply.
“I’m glad I did in the end. It has really helped me. The bursary allowed me to pay for my Great Britain kit, as well as my memberships, insurance and travel to games.”
Her love for the gridiron sport developed at a young age, with her playing flag football before switching to tackle when she was just 14 years old.
In August this year, Lucy was selected to represent Great Britain at the Women’s American Football European Championships, and the SSS Bursary allowed her to take part and pursue her dreams. She said:
“I feel honoured to have represented my country at the sport I love, especially at such a young age.
“The entire experience was surreal. It was tough playing three games in one week but the team spirit and atmosphere from the crowd really made it all worth it.”
Her dedication and commitment to the sport is unrivalled, as she states how being focussed allows her to perform at the top of her game. She said:
“My preparation consists of a solid gym programme, lifting weights four times a week as well as participating in rugby for my fitness.
“If any women are interested in American football, find your local team and give it a go. Initially, it is a hard, but if you persevere you will love it because it is a great sport.”
The SSS Bursary offers a young person or team aged between 14 a helping hand in reaching their sporting potential. As the first ever recipient, Lucy was quick to recommend applying for the bursary, as she wants others to benefit from the support like she did. She said:
“The bursary is a great way to allow people to pursue their dreams, especially in niche sports that rely heavily on funding.
“The support from Mark and the team at SSS Network has been amazing. I’m grateful to have their backing.”
With aims to compete in the World Championships in 2021, taking place in Finland, and eventually captain the Great Britain side in the future, Lucy is determined to help the sport of American Football grow in the UK.
Professional boxer and SSS Network partner Jordan Gill is looking to make a difference in his local community by way of his up and coming foundation – Next Generation.
Known as ‘The Thrill’ inside the ring, Jordan has shown a desire to use the power of sport to impact young people, giving them opportunities and options he never had growing up. Utilising the support and guidance of the Network, Jordan is looking to begin Next Generation delivery in 2020.
The 25-year-old has stated his desire to use his foundation as a way to give back to society, especially in his home county of Cambridgeshire. Focussing on areas of high-deprivation and lack of provisions for young people, Jordan has a clear vision on what he wants to achieve.
He said: “With Next Generation, I want to make a difference.
“I’ll be looking to work with a variety of young people on areas such as improving their health, both physically and mentally, whilst also allowing them to pick up communication skills and make new friends”.
Working closely with his father, Paul, who has coached him for more than 20 years, the former WBA International Featherweight champion set up Next Generation in a bid to improve the opportunities available to those from his hometown.
The pro boxer has his heart set on working in Cromwell Community College, his former secondary school, a place where he feels he can make a genuine difference and engage with students who remind him of what he was like at that age.
He said: “Cromwell is very close to me, so to be able to go back and make a difference to the students that go there is important.
“I know what it is like growing up around that area, it has limited resources and it can be hard to reach through to the students. Hopefully I can do something to start changing its reputation”.
“I’m really excited to be working with Mark and SSS Network, they are already working with some many amazing people. I met with Jamie and Gavin McDonnell a few months ago and talked it over to see if joining the Network was for me.
“I’m glad to be on board. They are the best team to be with to help me achieve my goals.”
Turning pro in 2012, Jordan has gone on to have 25 fights at featherweight, winning 24 and losing just the one. The orthodox fighter is working towards a world title fight and, upon hanging up his gloves, devoting all his time to the Next Generation foundation.
The supporting mechanisms put into place by SSS Network will allow Jordan and his Foundation to deliver their goals.
Founder of SSS Network, Mark Turner, has welcomed Jordan and his team with open arms. He said: “”Upon meeting Jordan it was clear that he was very passionate about doing positive work in his local community. Jordan is a positive role model for lots of people across Fenland so using his stature in sport and drawing on past experiences will help Jordan and his team make a positive difference in society.”
The Network has already seen foundations it partners with flourish, most notably former world boxing champion Team Mac Fight for Good and professional rugby league player Luke Gale’s Kicking for Grassroots.
Congratulations to Lucy Peaty who has today been awarded the Sport Society Success Bursary. We received over 40 applications ranging from individuals to large sports clubs. All of the applications we received highlighted the fantastic work happening in our community and it was a very difficult decision.
Lucy has participated in Women’s American Football since the age of 14, and has competed at local and national level. In June 2018 Lucy was asked to train with GB Women’s American Football team. The current governing body for American Football BAFA is low on funding meaning each of the players have to pay for their own equipment, kit, travel and training.
In August this year Leeds are hosting the Women’s American Football European Championships, and the SSS bursary will allow Lucy to take part and pursue her dreams. We will be posting regular updates on Lucy’s progress and we wish her the best of luck.
Luke Gale and his team have announced they will be working with Elland ARLFC, Bentley ARLFC and Wibsey Warriors. Luke will be helping the clubs in running summer camps, recruitment campaigns in schools, support with funding applications and other ideas which will help them grow.
In January this year Luke launched a search for existing Rugby League clubs across Yorkshire, which he could support. The aim was not necessarily to help the most in need, but more towards making the best possible impact to amateur clubs. This impact will be measured in many ways, young people attending, increased funding for clubs or simply helping to increase the profile of the clubs. For Luke this is not about bringing in a slick looking coaching team but building on the existing foundations of clubs, making them much stronger and more sustainable.
“I am passionate about Rugby League, it’s provided a good life for me and my family, whilst giving me some amazing experiences. I now want to help other amateur clubs, giving young people opportunities to achieve what I have”
This work is being offered to the clubs completely free, Luke and his team are offering their time and expertise on a voluntary basis.
On Thursday 16th May young people from Outwood Adwick Academy got the chance to join the pre-game
entertainment at Headlingley Stadium, during the Sky Sports televised Leeds Rhino’s v Castleford Tigers game.
The guests were invited onto the pitch as part of a showcase which involved flag bearing, fireworks and live music, there was also a chance to meet current Castleford Tigers and England player Luke Gale. This was the Flying Futures led project latest instalment of exposing young people to different sporting experiences and role models
This work was led by SSS Network partner, Kicking For Grassroots, the brainchild of super league player Luke Gale.
On Friday 10th May, Flying Futures in partnership with Sport Society Success CIC supported 12 young people in attending the Nottingham Motor-point Arena. This was to support network partner Jordan Gill in his most recent bout with the tough mexican, Enrico Tinico.
Jordan had previously met some of the young people a few weeks earlier when launching a new project with Outwood Adwick Academy School. The project aims to expose young people to new experiences, meet new sporting role models and try new things. The idea is about using different experiences to help young people gain essential like skills that can be used outside the educational setting. We also believe that by allowing young people access to high achievers in sport it will inspire and motivate young people to achieve and in turn help build confidence and self esteem. Unfortunately Jordan lost the fight but that did not stop the young people from enjoying the evening in a packed out arena.
Executive Director, Mark Turner who attended the event spoke highly of two students who joined Mark at ringside, “I was very impressed with the two young gentlemen who joined me at ringside. They we courteous, respectful and polite to others around them, they were a credit to the school”.
Sport Society Success are looking for a young person or team aged between 14 and 19 who could do with a helping hand in reaching their sporting potential. We have a bursary of £2300 to give to an aspiring athlete or team. The money can be used for apparel, transport, equipment, anything that helps ‘you’ pursue the sport you love. All we ask in return is that you keep us up to date with your progress and allow us to share news and photos of what you’ve been up to.
You can nominate yourself or nominate someone you think deserves a helping hand in achieving their dream.
Please tell us in no more than 500 words why the person or team deserve our help and what the money would be used for.
Please email email@example.com by the 31st of May. The decision of who to support will be made by the SSS Directors and the decision will be final.
Pupils from Outwood Academy in Adwick have graduated as Team Mac ambassadors. The group of young people have been on course as part of the Fighting for Essential Skills Project.
Courses are based around non-contact boxing, but principles and disciplines are exactly the same.
Sport Society Success launched at Doncaster racecourse on the 14th of December and raised over £6000 to support the start up of the social enterprise, of which £2300 will be used to create our first ever SSS Bursary.
Sporting stars from boxing, racing, rugby league and football were among the 100 guests who joined the Sport Society Success directors in the Royal Box at Doncaster to learn more about the project and help raise vital funds. Among the famous faces were jockey Paul Hanagan, and trainer Richard Fahey. Former Leeds and Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom and England women’s cricket head coach Paul Shaw.
We had great input from At The Races who held live interviewes with Castleford Tigers and England rugby league player Luke Gale. As well as interviews with boxing brothers Jamie and Gavin McDonnell and England cricketers Katherine Brunt and Natalie Sciver.
As a result over six thousand pounds has been raised to help support an athlete(s) in pursuit of their dreams. We don’t believe someone’s future should be determined by where they grew up or how much money their parents have. The money will be used for things like coaching and equipment and the recipient will be identified through a process in May.
Gavin has joined forces with his twin brother Jamie in his commitment to inspire young people. Gavin has joined the Fight For Good CIC and will help Jamie attend schools and gyms across Yorkshire as part of the work.
The brothers will have a busy 2019 after forging a partnerships with Yorkshire Sport, Expect Youth and Department for Education to deliver projects throughout the year.
The lads enjoy visiting young people to tell them what it’s like to be a boxer and the hard work and discipline it takes to be successful. If your school or gym would like them to visit please contact firstname.lastname@example.org