Levelling the Playing Field – the £1.7m project using the power of sport to reduce over-representation of minority and ethnic groups in youth justice – has officially launched its new website.

Levelling the Playing Field (LtPF) is driven by extensive research that shows black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) children are less likely to take part in physical activity, and more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system.

By partnering with expert strategic and delivery organisations across England and Wales, including Newport Live who are acting as the strategic partner for Gwent, LtPF aims to strengthen local sporting opportunities that are accessible and enriching for 11,200 BAME children who are at-risk of entering, or already involved in, the criminal justice system. By empowering local people and working with organisations including Newport Live, the project is helping to maximise existing frontline support in affected communities.

As the project develops, stories of its success and impact will appear in the case studies section and the LtPF social media channels.

Powered by a record £1million grant from the London Marathon Charitable Trust, LtPF is managed by the Alliance of Sport in Criminal Justice in partnership with the Youth Justice Board. It comprises a multi-stakeholder partnership of over 60 organisations including Newport Live.

Project leader, Rudro Sen, commented: “After testing and evaluating in our four initial delivery areas, our aim is to scale up across England and Wales, bringing more opportunities and support for our beneficiaries, increased connectedness and trust with local criminal justice agencies and ultimately fewer children from minority ethnic groups involved in crime.”

Newport Live’s Sports and Physical Activity Development Team already delivers and facilitates high-quality sporting opportunities for children, families, schools, communities, sports clubs, and local groups.

The Sports and Physical Activity Development Team in Newport is highly regarded locally, regionally, and nationally by partners such as Sport Wales, Disability Sport Wales, Street Games, and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent; having won awards and been recognised for its innovation and good practice. The Positive Futures programme that is delivered by the Sport and Physical Activity Team is leading the delivery of the Levelling the Playing Field project and is working with a number of essential delivery partners to ensure the young people that need it the most will benefit from the project.

They know sport and physical activity can have such a positive impact on people's lives including children, families, specific groups, and diverse communities. The team strives to make a difference in our communities and to get more people hooked on sport for life.

Lucy Donovan, Senior Positive Futures Development Officer at Newport Live, spoke to Levelling the Playing Field about Newport Live’s involvement in the project “Newport Live's Positive Futures project was asked to be involved with Levelling the Playing Field by the Alliance of Sport due to our experience of working in the Sport for Development sector in Wales; supporting vulnerable and at-risk young people using the power of Sport to enthuse and engage.

“Newport has been part of a BAME Sport programme through a partnership with Sport Wales and Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) over the last few years. Newport Live has a vibrant programme that has been delivered in partnership with a number of local partners who engage regularly with young people from a range of backgrounds including Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Gypsy Roma Travellers.

“It made sense to be part of a national project that was helping to raise the profile of issues that a lot of BAME young people living in Newport are struggling with on a daily basis and we aim to leave a lasting legacy through our programme to ensure that the provision exists for BAME young people past the end of the three-year Levelling the Playing Field project.”

To find out more about the community projects delivered by Newport Live, please visit www.newportlive.co.uk/en/community-support/

Visit levellingtheplayingfield.org and follow the project on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to find out more.