IT’S coming home, it’s coming…Space is coming home.
While the whole of Tamworth continues to bask in football fever and back Gareth Southgate’s World Cup hopefuls in Russia, Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis swapped a soccer ball for a basketball to officially launch the county-wide summer activities scheme.
Mr Ellis joined former Harlem Globetrotter Shawn Jamison and newly-installed Space Champion Olivia Hopwood at Stoke-on-Trent College, to publicise Space 2018, which kicks-off at the start of the school summer holidays at the end of July.
And this year the target is to attract 25,000 attendees across Staffordshire and Stoke, with more than a 1000 activities across the county.
Mr Ellis introduced the Space programme to bring together public, voluntary and private sector organisations to help nurture, support and guide Staffordshire youngsters.
The nine district and borough councils within the county have already signed up for Space 2018, with preparations underway behind the scenes to ensure the 8-17-year-olds of Staffordshire and Stoke have a summer of fun and enjoyment to look forward to.
The summer schedule has been mapped out, with a full list of activities available on the Space website (staffordshirespace.uk). Book now, to avoid disappointment.
Speaking to Tamworth Informed at the launch, Mr Ellis said: ‘I am really pleased to be launching Space 2018.
‘This is all about young people in Tamworth, it’s about activities and it’s about sport and well-being.
‘I brought it back a few years ago and it’s been growing, and growing, and growing.
‘I think this year we should have, hopefully, 25,000 spaces filled across the whole of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, with more than 1000 events and activities throughout the county.
‘It’s all about confidence, young people and really engaging with them.
‘And I am delighted so many public agencies, community groups and voluntary groups have got involved in supporting Space to be the brilliant thing it’s going to be this year.’
Californian Shawn Jamison is a retired basketball player, who previously appeared for the world-renowned exhibition team Harlem Globetrotters, and played top level sport in the US, Switzerland and in the UK.
Now a head coach at Stoke-on-Trent College, he set up Hoopskills, designed to assist local primary and secondary school children in the development of basketball.
He said: ‘Space is about giving the kids activities for the summer, making them involved and to feel active.
‘It’s important for youth development, enhancing physical, mental and social development. And we are very proud to be a part of it.’
Use and follow #StaffsSpace2018 on Twitter for updates during the coming months.