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Burgess Sports – Changing people’s lives through sport around Burgess Park, London

Burgess Sports is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation which was set up in 2011. Based in Burgess Park London, it is central to local schools and residents who live in and around the area.

Situated in one of the most deprived boroughs of the Capital where participants and volunteers are on average at 11% of the most deprived in the country. There is a distinct lack of indoor and structured outdoor facilities in Camberwell, Peckham and Walworth, yet none more so than the adjacent

Aylesbury Estate where many of the participants and volunteers live. With fewer opportunities unlike neighbouring boroughs, it’s Burgess Sports’ ongoing mission to create unique opportunities for participants and volunteers to develop and gain a multitude of skills.
The local sports clubs form the umbrella of Burgess Sports yet although they are separate, they aim to promote cooperation and deliver joint activities so that the local community can get the most out of the activities offered.
The local clubs within Burgess Sports consist of Southwark Tigers Rugby, Southwark City Tennis Club, Southwark Allstars FC, Peckham BMX and Burgess Park Cricket Club.

Their holiday camps are becoming increasingly popular

 Burgess Sport’s multisport holiday camps are growing and evolving and are broaden their scope and reach and aim to promote sport and to ensure that sport is most importantly both affordable and accessible. 

In 2019 there were 541 unique participants and 3000 overall visits.

Children and young people aged 3 to 18 from Aylesbury Estate (94% have parents who are either secure tenants or live in temporary accommodation) took part in an increasing number of sporting and social activities.
These young people need exercise and they get it!
About 48% of participants had excess weight (overweight or obese) which is roughly in line with those found by the NCMP for the local ward.
Girls had substantially higher obesity levels than the boys which is surprising as nationally, boys of this age tend to have slightly higher obesity levels.

On camp days, on average the young people undertake three times the moderate to vigorous physical activities recommended by the Government.

After school sessions activate the young people

On Monday to Wednesday afternoons, they provide varied sports sessions after school. The sports within our programme are carried out in rotation including;  Football, Tennis, Tag Rugby, Hockey, Boxing, Cricket, BMX. It is arranged in such a way to ensure that those taking part will never be idle; every moment will be filled with games, sports discipline, and technical theory, each explained and put into practice. 
It’s also about healthy eating
Franco’s Amato’s passion and commitment as a chef (more about Franco later) has put us in the right direction to travel this journey. To improve healthy food habits, they must consider many important things. More than just serving a healthy meal they understand it is important to teach the children to choose correctly. To teach the parents to cook on a budget and support them with ideas to reduce the time spent in the kitchen and the money spent on ingredients.
Franco makes the food that is not only tasty but also attractive. He has captured their belief that everything they do should be of the highest quality.
They still have some reluctant children, but the number of packed lunches decreased rapidly when the children realised that Franco’s food was wonderfully tasty!

And the parents appreciate the benefits for their children to attend the sessions

But they are not resting on our laurels; they are always listening, learning and improving
The programme aims to develop more 13+ active girls and boys. This is a well- known difficult age group to tackle. They have delivered several programmes, but still feel there is a lot to do. More marketing, outreach and promotion is needed, as well as continuing to develop a strong relationship with the clubs that deliver the sessions.
Parents are a key element to incorporate in their programme. They believe in breaking the barriers and working collaboratively and being co-responsible of the child’s development.
They have worked well with some of the local schools, identifying pupils that might benefit from the camps and enrolling them. Though they would like to further develop these relationships and to work with more schools.
They have a good relationship with the parents and families and has identified a need for broader parenting support in the community, would like to work with a  parenting charity or have someone to signpost parents to. Parents are also important role models, there may be an opportunity to run some short ‘family camps’ which get parents active too. (45% of people who are participating in an online fitness class doing the pandemic, do so as a family.)

The Ambassador and volunteering programme has been popular and has successfully seen some previous participants getting some level 1 and 2 coaching training. The Ambassador programme is looking to meet more regularly with a more consistent offer.

Burgess Park has demonstrated an amazing response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Around the 18th March, Burgess Sport got together with many community partners to start delivering free meals to local residents in need and/or is isolation

So this food programme is currently providing over 200 free meals a week to families and individuals in need in the local community.  Franco, their amazing chef, prepares food from fresh ingredients in the Southwark Tigers clubhouse (their home) in Burgess Park. 

But it is also about engaging young people and families at home

 Aside from the food programme they are developing online activities for their participants.  They are delivering a weekly programme of events that they can join and enjoy. Their ideas are based on what their young people are saying that they want to do.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Burgess Sports started to run online activities from the first week of the lockdown.  They have done surveys to parents and young people to understand what would be the best programme, that could bring joy, company and optimism in this unprecedented situation.

These online activities include the Origami Challenge Cup Stacking Challenge

Burgess Sports’s Got Talent and Tik-Tok Challence

And they also launched the first-ever great Jigsaw Puzzle Challenge! Whoever makes the Jigsaw first wins the prize. Hint! You might be quicker if you work as a family. 

And the daily online daily fitness sessions
Their coaches are making simple routines that participants can practice as a family.

Working with many supporters and partners

Burgess Sport are fortunate to be working with great organisations such as

  • Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Charity
  • Go Campaign
  • London Community Response
  • The Westminster Foundation
  • Creation Trust
  • Pembroke House
  • Doorstep Collective
  • Southwark
  • Tigers Rugby Club.

These bodies have either provided funding and/or volunteers to deliver the food. We are truly grateful for working with these community-focused and inspiring bodies.
What is important to emphasise here is the synergy and extra energy that is created by this partnership working from people who all share the same values.

Four new planned community events re-scheduled for 2021

It was planned to organise four community/sports events in 2020, but they have now been put back to 2021, due to the pandemic.
They are:

The Great Burgess Social 10k Run  

This was to take place on Sunday 5th April 2020 this event, will, hopefully, become an annual event brings together runners from across London and beyond.

The 10k are approximately two laps around Burgess Park – the exact distance will have to be measured.

The event will be organised in partnership with Camberwell Running Club which will be launched on the day.  Through their Parkrun activities and other running events, they have the expertise and contacts to make the event run smoother.

As a social 10k, there will be no winners, but participants can have their time chipped for their own purpose.  

The Burgess Park Diversity Games…
celebrating the diverse communities and sports across London

This event was planned to take place on the weekend on 11th – 12th July 2020, the weekend of the UEFA 20 finals, which takes place at Wembley Stadium.

The thinking behind this unique event is that London is an amazingly diverse city and has a rich diversity and proud tradition of openness towards people of all faiths, nationalities, and backgrounds.

One in three Londoners were born outside the UK, while more than 300 languages are currently spoken on their streets. Today, London is home to a million EU citizens and you would be hard-pressed to find a nationality that isn’t represented in our city. 

This diversity has also brought many different sports to the city, from all corners of the globe.  Not just sold-out baseball matches at Wembley or American Football games at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but also Kabbadi coming from India and handball from continental Europe, to name a few.

But, never have all those sports been played at one event where everyone can watch and try sports often only known within their specific communities – until now!

The event will now take place on the weekend 10th – 11th July 2021.  

The Great Camberwell and Peckham Dog Walk

This event was due to take place Sunday 6th September 2020

This is a community event which will attract people and their dogs from around Burgess Park and beyond.

It will raise funds for Burgess Sport and their great work in the community and will bring people and communities together while encouraging people to keep fit.

This event will now take place on Sunday 5th September 2021.  

The Great Burgess Evening Walk

This event was initially scheduled for the 17th October 2020 and it is a community event which will attract people from around Burgess Park and beyond.

It will raise funds for Burgess Sport and their great work in the community and will bring people and communities together while encouraging people to keep fit.

How does it work?

The event is open to all – men, women and children.
 Walk as a way of keeping fit while having fun with friends and family, or simply to do something a little bit different with your Saturday night. Whatever your reasons, you will be generating essential funds for Burgess Sports, supporting the great work they are doing to change people’s lives through sport around Burgess Park.

This event will now take place on 16th October 2021.

Volunteers – the lifeblood of Burgess Sport

The exciting platform of the next phase of Burgess Sport volunteering is building on some great work already delivered by some great bodies and some skilled and dedicated people.

The Team100 Burgess Park project is a community volunteering project designed to engage underrepresented groups in volunteering that gets the area more active. The project is funded by Sport England and has been delivered by a partnership between Burgess Sports and Access Sport, a national sports inclusion charity.

The project has brought together a local leadership group, who ensure the project is locally feasible, sustainable and stays true the local community. The group includes local experts from Creation Trust and Community Southwark.

The project has been successful in its delivery but it is it ‘s learning that will support  Burgess  Sports to continue their work around changing lives in and around Burgess Park. The project has shown the need to create a matrix of volunteering roles within the park, blending complementary skill sets such as administration, marketing, design, coaching, catering and events as a proven method to engage the wider community in their work.