We are lucky to have had some fantastic support from local organisations. Manchester wealth management specialist, King Street Wealth Management, chose DMSF as their Charity of the Year for 2019 and donated £50,000 to the Foundation.

Mark Parello, Managing Director at King Street Wealth Management, said: “The reason Matt and I decided to support DMSF is that the charity, it’s activities and outcomes resonated with us.

“Neither Matt [Chief Investment Officer at King Street] nor I grew up with a silver spoon in our mouths. I personally had a very challenging childhood and if it wasn’t for sport and the positive benefits and traits I gained from it, including competing, routine, dedication, belief, hard work and relentless persistence, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

“King Street Wealth Management is proud to be able to give back to a charity helping the younger generation meet their true potential.”

Many young people in Manchester face social and economic deprivation and inequality that can have a lasting impact on their life chances. As a result, Manchester – and Greater Manchester – is a place where youngsters are often held back by ‘a lack of confidence, uncertainty and low expectation.

As well as providing access to high quality coaching, DMSF utilises the power and disciplines of sport to improve young people’s self-esteem and develop positive character traits to set them up for life.

Diane Modahl, co-Founder and CEO of DMSF, said: “It’s one thing to raise aspirations of young people growing up within inner cities – it’s another to deliver on those promises.

“Our collaboration with King Street Wealth Management (KSWM) has made a significant impact in enabling the charity to support those individuals who have aspirations to compete at the highest levels in sport and in particular the Olympic Games. Thanks to Matthew and Mark at KSWM we have kick started an authentic pathway to supporting those young people who want to reach peak performance within sport.”

One of the DMSF young people who will benefit from this pathway is DMSF young person, Aimee Pratt, who was selected to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the World Athletic Championships in Doha, in September 2019, and is now training to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Aimee was discovered by DMSF aged 13 (now aged 22) and has since been on a fast track to compete at top level competitions in athletics. She is supported and coached by DMSF Performance Coach and DMSF co-Founder, Vicente Modahl.

Vicente said: “As a coach I knew Aimee was ready for the big time but you can never predict when or if the athlete will step up to that level. Now I can realistically start, with confidence, the work needed to cement her as a senior international athlete. The donation from King Street Wealth Management will enable this to happen.

Aimee is currently completing a high altitude training camp in Ifrane, the Atlas Mountains, in preparation for the Olympic Trials.

Coach Vicente said: The funding from KSWM is vital as it supports our most important training camp and competition tour in the USA, without that we would struggle to complete the high altitude training that’s needed, and the vital pre-season competitions in USA.”

The British Olympic Trials will held on 21-22 June 2020 in Manchester. If Aimee finishes in the top two she will qualify. She currently has a time of 9mins 30secs over the 3000m Steeple Chase and she will need an eight seconds personal best. She can also qualify on the World Ranking by finishing in the top 45.

Vicente continues: “Training is going exceptionally well but Aimee has had a minor injury in a ligament in her foot, so we are planning accordingly. For now we plan to compete in a World Class road race in Armagh, Northern Ireland on 13 February, and at the British Indoors Championship in Glasgow on 22-23 February. Pending the full recovery of the injury we will add competitions to this plan. We will be off again to high altitude in Flagstaff Arizona on the 24 March, returning on the 22 April. We will then complete the training with two track competitions in Los Angeles.”

Aimee said: “I don’t only want to qualify for my first Olympic Games in Tokyo, I want to improve my training so I can reach the final.  My experience from my first World Championship last year in Doha has made me want to become a real World Class athlete. Thank you KSWM for helping make this happen.”

Vicente concludes: “In 2010 Diane and I started DMSF with the clear goal of taking an aspiring athlete from the inner-city, from their first step on a track to competing in the Olympic Games…we are almost there! But the next six months will be vital and we have a major task ahead of us, a task I’m sure DMSF, Aimee and I will be able to achieve together. Not only did we want to help young people, we wanted to challenge them to reach for the top and fulfil their potential.”

This is a major moment for DMSF because it proves that the Foundation has, against the odds, been able to take a child from a tough inner city environment all the way to world athletics level. The finish line to the initial vision when Diane and Vicente established the charity, is in sight.

If you would like to offer your support to the next generation of hopeful athletes, click here.