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'People's project' set to inspire youth through the Olympics

FUTURE: The people's project wants to introduce young players to the game

THE OLYMPICS is set to boost the health and business skills of young black and minority ethnic people in north west London.

Over 120 young people from the Church End and Roundwood areas will be inspired by the 2012 Games to cook healthy, do yoga, play chess and be entrepreneurs this summer at The People’s Project.

This is an annual project run by young people for young people encouraging them to focus on play activities proven to reduce the likelihood of them becoming involved in anti-social behaviour and offending in later life
Among the range of activities to be held this year is the Enterprise Kitchen, run by London based company Bite Size Marketing, which will train 12 to 17 year olds in business skills. Young people will make items such as flapjacks to sell in the tuck shop with a goal to make a £250 profit by the end of the summer.
Also the Special Yoga Centre will be running Yoga for Teens programme for 13 to 17 year olds to help them with their wellbeing and all round fitness. And a series of activities called Best Out Of Waste will encourage participants to create art out of recycled products and think about environmental issues.


Yvonne Williams, Head of Community Investment at Catalyst Gateway, one of the organisations that supports The People’s Project said: “The People’s Project is influenced by the 2012 Games. We are going for the Olympics of the mind as well as of the body. Activities such as chess and the Enterprise Kitchen will complement the more physical activities, like football. We want to help young people to be aware of their health and understand business and enterprise as these skills will help them achieve their goals in life.”

Jo Manuel, Director of the Special Yoga Centre said yoga could play a key role in helping their emotional development.

Manuel said: “Teenagers today seem to need the tools to manage their lives in a more positive way. Yoga helps their self esteem, helps them to manage stress better and makes them stronger physically, mentally and emotionally. The young people we teach say they feel much calmer, more confident and de-stressed from the pressure of exams, and can better relate to their peers within the classroom.”

Also on the list of activities is a twice weekly Chess Academy which will teach young people of all ages the basic tactics of the game so they can play the game with confidence.

Leading black chess coach Richard Weekes said: “Many children are scared of chess and think they can’t play. I want to encourage all children to participate. I’m particularly targeting the children who don’t think they are smart enough to play, and those who are disruptive in school or find it hard to concentrate. Chess helps children with their attitude to learning, concentration and self esteem through problem solving and conflict management.”

The People’s Project will run at the Unity Centre in Brent, north west London, until Friday August 17. For further details, please visit

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