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Newport Live’s Positive Futures team empowers refugee and asylum seekers through sporting opportunities

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NEWPORT LIVE’S Positive Futures team and the Levelling the Playing Field initiative invited refugees and asylum seekers to join this year’s ABP Newport Marathon Festival, held on 28 April to run either the 10k or Half Marathon as part of the 100 Club.

The 100 Club gifted 100 free half marathon and 10K spaces to Newport residents, community groups and organisations who would benefit mentally or physically by partaking in the events. Newport 100 Club was made possible thanks to the support from Anna Verdon of Run 4 Wales, who secured funding from the London Marathon Trust.

Positive Futures partnered with The GAP Wales Sanctuary project, known for providing opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers to engage in sports. The team has worked with The GAP for several years by running weekly football sessions that help enhance community integration and boost participants well-being. 

The Positive Futures team assisted individuals with registration for the 100 Club and provided them with personalised t-shirts to wear and provided guidance and encouragement to runners on the day. For many of the young men, it was their first 10k race, and their collective achievement was remarkable. Each participant completed the event, feeling proud of their accomplishment. One young man expressed his desire to participate again, embodying the spirit of resilience and determination.

Lauren Poole, Positive Futures Development Officer, commended the participants, saying: “I’m really proud of them all. What an achievement for them to all complete the race and still have big smiles at the end.” 

Anna Verdon, from Run 4 Wales Communications and Marketing, expressed her delight, stating: “So pleased that they had a great time and feel inspired with their running. That’s literally what the 100 Club is about.”

This collaborative effort highlights the transformative power of sports in fostering inclusivity, community cohesion, and individual empowerment. Newport Live’s Positive Futures team remains dedicated to championing such initiatives as well as embodying the ethos of social responsibility and solidarity.

Newport Live’s Community Sport and Wellbeing Team delivers sporting opportunities for children, families, schools, communities, sports clubs, and local groups across Newport. They strive to make a difference in the local communities and to get more people hooked on sport for life. The team are held in high regard locally, regionally, and nationally by partners such as Sport Wales and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, winning awards and being recognised for its innovation and good practice.  

Newport Live is a charitable trust that manages leisure centres, venues, and services across Newport, Wales. Committed to inspiring people to be happier and healthier, Newport Live strives to create opportunities for excellence and community engagement.