A WORD FROM RYAN
For those of you who are new to our services, QPG started with a couple of local community volunteers providing free weekly football sessions in Queen’s Park - with the intention of it being a small weekly gathering in order to promote healthy and active lifestyles - and almost two years later, the founder has opened a brand-new Community Hub. Thanks to the spirit and dedication of its young volunteers, the Queen’s Park Gardens (QPG) Community & Sports Hub has opened on Kilburn Lane, and now provides everything from Maths and Science lessons for youngsters to homework help and free adult English lessons 6 days a week.
QPG Football Academy was founded by Ryan Dalton, and since its inception, QPG Sports has assisted with four residents becoming further qualified in the areas of football and tennis, as well as giving people an opportunity to develop valuable key skills in a unique classroom setting.
Whilst undertaking further studies in Marketing, Ryan found the time to expand QPG and introduce a wider range of sporting activities through a new venture, QPG Sports Hub, which launched in April 2017. Ryan’s next mission, along with an expanded team of staff and volunteers, was a base for QPG HQ.
This was achieved in August 2017. We now deliver 24 sessions of free and affordable sporting activities for both local children and adults in Queen's Park.
Ryan is driven by a passion for improving the area in which he grew up by providing free and affordable activities that he felt were lacking.
“We really wanted to focus on the educational element,” said Ryan. “When we were doing the sports stuff, we were noticing that some of the kids were struggling to read the rules and forms. It’s also for the parents too, so that in the holidays they know their children are going somewhere safe and well managed.”
Ryan, armed with all he has learned so far while studying for his Master’s degree in Marketing, is using his skills to get help and sponsorship from construction firm Wilmott Dixon.
“This helps to keep children off the streets, from committing a crime, getting into trouble, and even dealing drugs."
QPG Community & Sports Hub are working closely with nearby schools and are training young people as sports coaches to boost their chances of employment further down the line.
The Community can now enjoy a range of programmes including yoga, pilates, circuit training boot camps, and a wide variety of sports. During the week under 15s can receive additional help with their homework, which includes dedicated help with key stage 2 English and Mathematics sessions, all of which take place by qualified tutors, at the hub, and all at no cost.
Free Maths, English, and Science GCSE sessions are also offered with QPG’s partners, Launch Tuition and college students can get free help with their University applications.
Cllr Dalton added, “I have such a brilliant team of staff and partners, and we are very excited about our brand’s expansion, and of course, the future.
“When I set up QPG Football and the QPG Community & Sports hub,
I knew that I would need to do more to ensure that education also played a vital role, as well as all of the ongoing free weekly sports, and now that we have our own premises, we can finally do that.”
Since launching QPG, I have worked tirelessly to ensure that local children and their parents could engage in free activities in a safe, diverse and supportive environment, many weeks volunteering over 80 hours per week, across 52 weeks of the year, which can be extremely tiring; so with that said, I am now looking forward to spending the next few months handing over the reigns to a new managing director who will assist in the continual growth of QPG, and ensure that our vital services are around for many years to come as I focus on other opportunities for residents in and around Queen’s Park and Westminster in 2020.
I am also inviting applications for local football managers and new volunteers too.
Over the next 12 months, throughout 2019 and 2020, we will see the following sessions and activities launching at the QPG Hub, including Launch Tuition Classes, Saturday GCSE school, and QPG Basketball amongst other exciting opportunities, such as Fit and Fed Cookery classes. Why not email us and make an appointment to pop in and see us during the week.
And remember, we are always open to hearing suggestions from residents and our partners on any new and exciting sporting activities and lessons that they would like to see launching in Queen's Park and at the QPG Community & Sports Hub.
We are looking forward to our winter Sports sessions taking place for the remainder of this year, as well as the growth of our new football teams, starting at 5 years old all the way up to 18 years old. We will also be ensuring that we have weekly matches for all teams lined up throughout next year. QPG is also looking forward to revealing our new kits over the coming months.
QPG has continued to go from strength to strength and we are proud that we have been able to make a real difference in a diverse community that often gets overlooked, as a team we have learnt that you can’t always make everyone happy, and not everyone will always appreciate the time you give up as a volunteer but as long as the children who attend are happy, that is all that matters. Finally, I would like to give a special thank you to the staff and team at Wilberforce Primary School, United Learning, Everyone Active, Moberly Sports Centre, Active Westminster Team Westminster, M&S Queen’s Park, QP Reformers, and Planet Organic for their support.
In the meantime, have a wonderful October and a spooky Halloween. See you at Half-Term!