On Friday the 14th of August, Street League welcomed UFC lightweight, Kevin Lee, and UFC welterweight, Emil Meek, to the Glasgow Academy. Lee and Meek spoke of their respective barriers which they had to overcome – illustrating how focus and the desire to achieve through sport helped them through their hardest times. The principle of using sport to overcome a personal challenge is integral to Street League’s philosophy, and events such as these give our young people the opportunity to learn, have fun and take part in physical exercise – which is what we’re all about!

After watching a demonstration delivered by the UFC stars, the group – many of whom are UFC fans - had the opportunity to perform techniques and sequences themselves, with the guidance of the professional fighters readily available. 

UFC confidence tips with MMA stars.

Matt Stevenson-Dodd, Street League CEO, said: “What makes Street League special is the way it uses sport to engage with young people who typically struggled with traditional education.”

How to lose weight with UFC stars at Street LeagueApprenticeship help with UFC stars at Street League - tackling youth unemployment.

He added: “Most of the young people had never tried MMA before, so it was an amazing opportunity for them to learn new skills and be pushed out of their comfort zone. We believe that there are transferable skills to learn from all sports, and MMA specifically can help with discipline, keeping calm under pressure, and focus. Meeting the UFC fighters and being able to ask about their stories I’m sure gave them the inspiration to succeed themselves.” 

Our partnership with the UFC gives us the opportunity to demonstrate to our young people how discipline and focus are pivotal to the development of their character. MMA (mixed martial arts) is a grueling physical activity which requires commitment, hard work and motivation – all of which we promote to our young people on a day to day basis as we help them move into work.

This was a fantastic event at which young people got the opportunity to take part in MMA (mixed martial arts) including, Ju-jitsu, boxing, and judo, as well as hear stories of overcoming challenges and determination direct from the mouths of international UFC stars. We are very grateful to UFC Europe for offering this opportunity to our young participants and look forward to working together again in the future.

Read the Glasgow Live article regarding our UFC event here: http://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/sport/other-sport/youngsters-glasgow-take-part-mma-13337873

Street League is the UK's leading sport for employment charity with a vision to see an end to youth unemployment in the UK. The charity offers 8-12 week-long sport and work skills programmes to unemployed 16-24-year-olds who face significant barriers or obstacles to moving into work. On the program, the young people take part in daily health and fitness activities including football, dance, and fitness, and then spend time developing personalised action plans with one-to-one mentoring support, employability qualifications, CV skills, and interview training. They have the opportunity to take part in work placement opportunities before moving into jobs, college courses, apprenticeships or other further training. Street League enjoys a healthy relationship with Premier Inn, Jewson and numerous other companies who have employed many of their graduates. 

In 2016-17, Street League supported 1553 young people into employment, education or training with 59% (465/784) of them sustaining their jobs for at least six months. 

To find out more about our programmes, Click here. Or to join Street League Click here