Barclays Spaces for Sports today launches a three-year partnership with global sports charity Right To Play to support disadvantaged migrant children in China.
Children whose families migrate to inner city areas in search of work often struggle to enter and remain in mainstream education.
They also face challenges relating to care and development, nutrition, healthcare and social discrimination.
The Empowerment Through Sport partnership address the issue and promote greater social harmony by using sports to help these children integrate into the wider society.
It was launched today at Tong Xin Experiment School in Pi Village, in the Chaoyang District of Beijing.
The event was attended by Gao Hong, a Right To Play ambassador and former China goalkeeper, as well as 50 children participating in the programme.
Through the US$540,000-programme, around 17,000 migrant children are expected to benefit from a curriculum covering sports and life skills.
In addition, as part of an effort to ensure the project’s sustainability, 850 coaches and teachers will be trained to deliver sports coaching.
Kirk Harrison, Head, Barclays Spaces for Sports, said: “We’re delighted to be launching this partnership in Beijing, which is our first major project in Asia as we look ahead to further expansion of Barclays Spaces for Sports globally.
“What’s important is that as well as transforming the lives of those migrant children we’ll be working with, we are committed to capacity building and educating trainers to deliver long-term impact.”
Wei Wei, National Director at Right To Play China, added: “This is the first programme implemented in China since Right To Play’s entry into China in 2007.
“We are pleased to partner with Barclays Space for Sports over the next three years to reach out to more migrant children.
“By training trainers and local teachers, the programme will provide migrant children with sustainable sport-based learning opportunities that will significantly improve their health, education and general wellbeing.”
Gao Hong, Right To Play ambassador and former China goalkeeper, concluded: “Today I am so happy to see these local teachers are so well trained to deliver the sport-based curriculum.
“As I have benefited from sport in my lifetime, I believe that opportunities provided to migrant children through sport will change their lives in a very positive way.”
Barclays Spaces for Sports, a community sports programme using sport to revitalise disadvantaged communities and tackle key social issues in countries around the world where Barclays operates.
It was launched in the UK in 2004 and extended globally in 2008 and is part of Barclays wider community investment programme, which last year invested £55m and the time and skills of more than 62,000 employees to support disadvantaged communities around the world where Barclays operates.