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MALI ENTERPRISING LEADERS – WORKSHOP on 25th November 2017 at Firhill Road Sports Ground, Bellingham Lewisham

December 19th, 2017

The Lewisham Sports Consortium (LSC) held a Mali Enterprising Leaders Workshop on 25 November at Firhill Road Sports Ground. The speaker was Kunle Olulode, Director of Voice4Change England, a partner in the project.

The aims of the workshop  were to give an overview of the Mali Enterprising Leaders programme run by The Ubele Initiative and also to encourage more active engagement from the young people at LSC.

Background: The LSC is a registered Charity that is managed and run entirely by volunteers.  The main objectives of the organisation are ;  providing and assisting in the provision of sports, recreation, education and training and the social and  cultural development of  people from BME  backgrounds and the wider community.

The LSC cleared a disused area of land on the Bellingham Estate in Lewisham and created Firhill Road Sports Ground.  With the help of Voice4Change, the LSC last year, secured a 30-year lease from the local Council and are now seeking capital funds to erect a building on the site. The proposed building will incorporate sports changing facilities and provide internal space to be used for education, training, social and cultural activities.

Key challenges are around capacity building and long-term sustainability. As part of addressing the first, the LSC wants to improve its governance, in particular to get more young people involved in leadership positions. In respect of the second, to close the skills gap in the areas business planning, marketing and financial management.

What happened at the workshop:  Twelve Young people attended the event, seven of whom are current volunteers who are aspiring to leadership in this organisation and or entrepreneurship. There were five young people new to the organisation they were given a pre- workshop information session about the work of the LSC and the benefits of volunteering as a means of self-development and social activism.   

Participants enjoyed refreshments and were welcomed by Harry Powell Chair of the LSC  who also introduced Kunle Olulode from Voice4Change.  Kunle gave an overview of the Mali project and set out the opportunities provided for individual development and benefits to the LSC making particular reference to succession planning; strengthening of governance; gaining experience for future leadership;  the access to  specialist and professional  support  available and opportunities for networking and partnerships.

Questions included the amount of commitment required; a possible barrier for some was work, study commitments and costs. Question, do you need to have a sporting back ground? Answer No!!! .We want to develop our future leaders within the project to work in each of the LSC strands - Sports, education and training, and social and cultural development.  Participants were also given an opportunity to speak informally to Kunle and ask any questions. 

Next Steps: We have  commitments from four  young people (2 male and 2 female) in the 18-30 age range who have been inspired to do some catch –up work  where necessary  and go forward with the next stage of Mali. 

Thank you Ubele and Voice4Change – we need the help and have benefitted significantly from your work so far.  


Mike Garrick

Secretary/ Treasurer

Lewisham Sports Consortium

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