Bristol Together Championships
Creating an inclusive and fair City
Launched in 2012, the Bristol Together Championships programme brings together year 5 children from Bristol schools in areas diverse in ethnicity, race, class, faith, and geography to connect and build friendships across perceived divides.
How it supports the young people
It unlocks the young people’s passions and talents and helps them to grow in confidence and pride in sharing their own stories and experiences of life.
Through sport, they have the opportunity to develop their resilience, improve their physical and mental wellbeing and develop a range of practical and cognitive skills that will support them for the rest of their lives.
In a year marked by ever-increasing divides, where physical distancing has been necessary due to the pandemic, young people taking part in this project still have the opportunity to build friendships across cultural and social divides, understand their differing experiences, and increase understanding of one another.
How it works
- Schools matched
Primary schools are twinned with other schools in Bristol, from communities which are radically different to their own in terms of race, class, or religious background, in a different part of the city.
- The twinning of schools
Each twinning of two schools forms a joint team of five children in Year 5, at least one of whom must be a girl. These pupils are not necessarily the best football players, but those children who would benefit from gaining in confidence, exposure of greater social diversity, and improving their communication skills.
- Kick off
The team participates in four training sessions, two hosted at each school, before competing at an annual tournament taking place in July.
- Bristol 2 Bordeaux
After the tournament, 20 children from four of the participating schools are then selected to represent Bristol in Bordeaux on a three-day trip as part of the cities’ twinning relationship.
This is fully funded and will take place in September each year. The young people spend their time being immersed in the city’s culture, meeting children from local schools and participating in fun and meaningful team-building activities. Please click here to listen young people talk about the Bordeaux Trip on BBC Radio Bristol.
Impact of the Bristol Together Championships
Recognised as Bristol’s best social mobility programme
The Bristol Together Championships programme is an experience that will live with our kids forever! From the top-quality coaching, the specialist integration with other schools and the brilliant football festival. Everything about this programme is exemplary. We were fortunate to qualify for the Bordeaux trip. This was the most incredible adventure, and our kids still talk about it to this day! It was truly life-changing for the kids who were lucky enough to attend and I would implore anyone working in a school environment to get involved and experience it first-hand.
Duncan Butler, PE teacher at Headley Park Primary School