Social mobility through sport is a passion for Connie Henry, founder of Track Academy, an organisation she set up to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. As a former triple jumper herself, Connie now uses athletics to engage young people through a unique blend of sport, education and mentoring opportunities.
With Track Academy firmly established Connie has a new vision – to create an annual Awards night for all the charities and organisations who are doing invaluable work to generate social change through sport. When Harvey Thorneycroft heard about this ambition he was first to throw his hat into the ring and commit to bringing this dream into reality. Combing their respective networks and securing the involvement of Bob Jones, founder of IntroOutro Consultancy Services Ltd, Connie’s brain child has taken off. An inaugural event hosted by the international law firm Simmons & Simmons set the ball rolling.
Lord Sebastian Coe attended the event and spoke about the power for good that involvement in sport can have on young people’s chances in life. Sporting heroes including Jonny Searle, (Olympic gold medal winning rower), Serge Betson, (French international rugby star) and Ben Earl, (Saracens RFU and Captain of England U20) amongst others, all wholeheartedly endorsed the vision of the Awards.
Inspired by Connie and Seb, invited guests were able to offer their skills and expertise in support of the project. Many guests, who played competitive sport in their formative years, were delighted to be given the opportunity to give something back. Specifically, an advisory board is being established who will oversee the launch of the very first Social Mobility Through Sports Awards. As Harvey commented, “My roots as a professional rugby player at Northampton, gave me first-hand experience of the way that sport moulded my character and shaped my success beyond the sports field and into business. It’s a privilege for myself and my team to support Connie in this fantastic new venture.”