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Rovers to run Blackburn Youth Zone sports

1 August 2017

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Staff from Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and Blackburn Youth Zone meet at the town centre facility to commemorate the launch of the new arrangements, including respective CEOs Gary Robinson (BRCT) and Hannah Allen (BYZ) front centre, holding the Blackburn Rovers shirt.

Blackburn Rovers Community Trust are delighted to have entered into a partnership with Blackburn Youth Zone to provide the full range of inclusive sports provision at the fun-filled town centre facility.

In an arrangement that brings two of the biggest youth engagement charitable organisations in Blackburn into an organised partnership, the official charity of the Ewood Park based club will be taking on a strong presence at the Jubilee Street location, providing coaching, mentoring and participation opportunities across a range of exciting sports opportunities.

The two parties have already been working together closely for a number of years on a series of reciprocally beneficial concepts, with the years of experience of one another’s working practice making the new setup a logical extension of a strong working relationship.

The new agreement comes into place with immediate effect, with former professional footballer Lee Mannion arriving from Manchester City’s highly successful City in the Community charity to take up the role of Blackburn Youth Zone sports manager, driving the delivery concepts behind the new partnership.

Our team will be able to work hand-in-hand with the excellent team that’s already in place at Blackburn Youth Zone, ensuring that we can provide opportunities that otherwise might not be readily available to youngsters in this area.

Gary Robinson, chief executive, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust

Hannah Allen, chief executive at Blackburn Youth Zone, says that this will be a combination that proves to be a winner for everyone involved, explaining:

"We are delighted with what this growth of partnership will present to both our members and young people of the Borough. At Blackburn Youth Zone, one of the most important parts of our work is to inspire young people by providing opportunities for members to develop a passion for something - we believe that this can be truly life-changing.

"We strive to ensure that young people have access to world class facilities and activities that are affordable, engaging and inclusive. After a Borough-wide consultation we have just launched a new programme for young people from aged five to 18, or up to 25 with additional needs. This includes delivery of sports, arts, leadership and enrichment projects, ensuring that we are meeting the needs of all young people. Having Blackburn Rovers Community Trust in partnership with our team delivering the sports offer will strengthen our provision, providing the best possible opportunities for young people.

"Both Blackburn Youth Zone and Blackburn Rovers Community Trust share a vision and commitment to inspire and re-generate a generation, to raise aspirations of young people and we are delighted that we can collaborate in this way and equally as excited to see thousands of young people benefit and develop from the joint offer."

Her counterpart at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, Gary Robinson, is pleased to have reached an agreement for the benefit of the entire young population of Blackburn with Darwen. Reacting to his organisation’s increased role at the Youth Zone, he admitted:

“Our mission statement is ‘inspiring change within our community’ and there are few better places within our area where we can look to offer such positive opportunities for such a large number of young people.

“We already offer a vast portfolio of chances to better young lives through programmes in education, health, social inclusion and sports participation, so it makes perfect sense to make full use of our skills at a venue that acts as a perfect fit.

“Our team will be able to work hand-in-hand with the excellent team that’s already in place at Blackburn Youth Zone, ensuring that we can provide opportunities that otherwise might not be readily available to youngsters in this area.

“We hope that we can inspire them to get involved with an exciting selection of sporting opportunities that are accessible to all, with potential opportunities to go on and play in representative tournaments against teams representing other similar organisations.

“The key thing is that children and young adults within Blackburn with Darwen have access to high quality sports provision in a central location, and this arrangement certainly ensures that the two partners can offer this to thousands of beneficiaries.

"Hopefully it will also help to strengthen that bond between the youngsters of the town and their local professional club, meaning that they feel closer to Blackburn Rovers and increase the likelihood that we'll see them more regularly at Ewood Park too.”

For more in-depth details regarding the selection of sporting events taking place at Blackburn Youth Zone, please visit their website at

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