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Golden Decade of Sport is kicking off

LAUNCHED IN MID-2010, THE ECA’S Golden Decade of Sport initiative is already providing sponsorship and support for junior and youth teams plus individual athletes across the UK. The initiative, which aims to support young

sports people across a wide range of sporting activities, was inspired by the unparalleled number of major sporting events that are scheduled for the UK over the coming 10 years, from the UEFA Champions League Final in 2011 and Olympic Games in 2012 to the 2015 Rugby World Cup and Cricket World Cup in 2019. As part of the initiative, ECA regions have been helping to select teams or individuals that could benefit from sponsorship from the ECA. Here in ECA T

oday, we’ll regularly be featuring these teams and athletes, and updating members on their progress.

Among the first recipients of ECA sponsorship is Steve Brown, 28, who plays wheelchair rugby for London Wheelchair Rugby Club. Sponsored by South East region, Steve’s aim is to use the funding to help him make the Great Britain team for the 2012 London Paralympics. Based in Surrey, Warlingham Football Club’s colts football section is another beneficiary of the Golden Decade of Sport initiative. Sponsored by the Greater London region, it provides football in the community for young people aged 4-18. The Fire and Security Association (FSA) has also sponsored a young side, Droitwich RFC U14 team, since the start of the 2010/2011 season. Droitwich has enjoyed a great start to the campaign with big wins against local rivals. The FSA has supplied the team with hoodies, training bibs, bags and tackle shields.

East region are also helping out a local project providing grass-roots level football for all ages and genders. The Sun Postal U15 team have received a new set of tracksuits emblazoned with ECA branding.

Steve Brown meets ECA president Diane Johnson



Sun Postal U15 team Droitwich RFC U14 team Warlingham Football Club

government’s announcement that it is to invest some £605m in adult apprenticeships in 2011/12, the ECA has called for increased support for small business owners, who are likely to take on a significant proportion of the apprentices. Steve Bratt, ECA group chief executive officer, said: ‘Replacing Train to Gain with a programme to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) train staff with low level skills is a definite step in the right direction, but more must be done so that SMEs can also deliver highly skilled operatives. SMEs are the backbone of industry, and already pay significant on-the-job costs for learners. If they are not supported to make a serious commitment to training, the UK runs the risk of falling at the first hurdle – particularly in our industry, which will be instrumental in the race to achieve a low carbon economy. ‘We agree more needs to be done to reduce red tape and simplify funding so that training providers and colleges can develop meaningful courses for industry. The re-balancing of money for more Level 3, over Level 2, training may achieve this. ‘However, we hope that a reduction in red tape does not lead to de-regulation of training, as colleges and training providers need to work with employers to ensure recognised industry outcomes. ‘It would be a mistake to encourage, even by default, rogue providers to enter the industry, delivering sub-standard courses and qualifications that are a million miles away from what industry needs to ensure the UK’s future.’

Winter 2010 ECA Today 13

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