After what can only be described as a challenging start to the year, the team at DMSF would like to take the opportunity to wish all our young people, partners, supporters and staff, a pleasant and relaxing summer holiday. And we’ve been busy working behind the scenes to ensure we’re back with a bang for the new term.

We have received lots of messages from people wanting to know when our sessions are going to be starting again, and we’re delighted to say that we’re back!

As coronavirus lockdown restrictions evolve, we’ve got guidance on a range of topics so that sport and our sessions can reopen safely, and from 28th July 2020 we have been running the following session for our young people:

TUESDAY community sessions. Taking place at Phillips Park, Gorton this inclusive, fun, ‘meet and greet’ style social event is aimed at encouraging our young people to try new activities and meet new friends.

THURSDAY Serious Youth Violence Reduction in Tameside. Continuing to use sport to engage and inspire, our partnership with Tameside Borough Council is working to increase resilience and reduce the risk of youth violence in Tameside.

Greater Manchester communities are determined to reduce serious youth violence. We’re working within selected secondary schools, and partnering with Greater Manchester Police, Safeguarding Officers, Local Authorities and crime reduction specialist former CID Dean Coady OBE, Managing Director Urban Pure Solutions, to deliver sessions that focus on educating and upskilling staff and their teams working with adults and young people, on how to create a safe environment in which young people can reach their best.

SATURDAY development squad training. Training sessionswill look and feel a little different initially as we follow guidance, observe social distancing and re-build the fitness of our athletes, but it’s good to have our athletes back. Squad training sessions will take place at Philips Park, Gorton, 10.30am unless athletes are competing (see video, right).

Returning to the new ‘normal’

While we slowly return to the new ‘normal’, our young people continue to face many key challenges, and these remain at the heart of our programming:

  • Many families may still be experiencing anxieties and concerns in the aftermath of Covid-19 and we continue to develop ways we can help keep our young people safe.
  • It is today’s children and young people who will suffer the worst long-term consequences of this pandemic on their lifelong earnings, job prospects and mental health, and the A-level results fiasco is the latest way in which a generation of young people are experiencing distress and uncertainty. We will do our best to support them through 1:1 counselling over the phone and online, and through our online mentoring service.

Back on track

Despite the postponed Olympic Games being shrouded in uncertainty due to the on-going effects of the pandemic, we’re very proud to report that DMSF athlete Aimee Pratt is back on track competing last week in two competitions in Paris.  

Aimee finished fourth in a strong 2000m Steeplechase, running under the British Record along with British Athlete Lizzie Bird who won the race. The next day Aimee raced over 3000m where dominating the race race from the front set a new personal best of 9:05:29 ranking her fourth in Europe at the time of writing, a fantastic result. 

You can read more about her journey here, and watch Aimee as she talks about the challenges of training during Covid-19 (video, right).

On behalf of the board and our whole team, I would like to wish you all a safe and happy summer holiday, and we look forward to the new term ahead!

Diane Modahl

CEO, Diane Modahl Sports Foundation

Watch DMSF athlete Aimee Pratt as she talks about the challenges of training during Covid-19, and scroll down to read more about her recent competitions.

1% effort 99% attitude!
Squad training sessions will take place at Philips Park, Gorton, 10.30am unless athletes are competing.