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Little London Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S8 0UH

Sheffield’s Amy Cooper has been shortlisted for the prestigious Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year 2022 Award (Grassroots category) for her work supporting vulnerable young people into sport. The shortlist was announced in The Sunday Times on Sunday 16th October, the public vote is now open, and the winner will be announced on 17th November

Amy set up Onboard Skatepark to create a safe and welcoming space for young people to try extreme sports (BMX, skateboarding, scootering). Extreme sport can reach kids and communities that might not engage with more traditional sporting activities. Onboard gives vulnerable young people an opportunity to try sports and Amy is the driving force behind it.

As Onboard grew, Amy saw that young people felt safe and grew in confidence through sport, they developed social skills and had fun. She has grown the skatepark’s offer and is now commissioned by the local Council to provide Alternative Provision for some of Sheffield’s most vulnerable young people. Onboard is one big family and every young person that steps through the door feels part of it.

Onboard continues to go from strength to strength and Amy goes above & beyond every day to make this happen. For example, over the summer holidays (a time when disadvantaged young people often struggle) over 300 young people were part of their programmes, the vast majority of them were either from disadvantaged backgrounds and/or had special educational needs.

Whether it’s BMX’ing at Onboard, or scooting as part of outreach work in community skateparks, Onboard is connecting with young people and changing lives. The young people get to see elite BMX’ers (including some Olympians) training right next to them, which is an incredibly inspiring for them. Many of the young people have complex lives and Onboard helps divert them away from crime, drugs and other challenges. They grow through sport, develop self-belief and are able to make better decisions.  Amy is passionate about supporting women and girls into extreme sports and this is an area of growth at Onboard.

See more about Onboard Skatepark here: https://youtu.be/GvNWqp5XOzI 

To vote for Amy: https://www.sportswomenoftheyear.co.uk/