The Earl of Wessex has awarded North-East England Regional Fencing with the Innovative Project Award for its unique Street Swords programme. As president of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Prince Edward presented the award at a Community Sport and Recreation Awards ceremony at St. James Palace, London.
The Street Swords program teaches young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, including young offenders, how to fence. Since being founded in 2008, the Streets Swords program has taught fencing to over 800 young people and trained over 80 young leaders. With training sessions in Middlesbrough, Peterlee, Hartlepool, and Durham, the program encourages young people to use intelligence over aggression.
According to Katy Robinson, one of the leaders, the Streets Swords project “gave me the confidence and platform from which I have gone on to gain more coaching qualifications in different sports.”
Marie Liston, North East Region England Fencing and England Fencing President, said, “I’m delighted that this innovative and inspiring project has been recognised with this award.”
Besides the Innovative Project Award, the Earl of Wessex was on hand for other awards presentations, including awards such as Volunteer Management and Green Thinking. The Sport and Recreation Alliance, of which Prince Edward is the president, is the umbrella organization for bodies of sports and recreation in the UK.
The alliance represents over 320 members, from the Rugby Football Union to the Royal Academy of Dance.