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Page last updated at 11:08 GMT, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 12:08 UK

Young Leaders take the Swiss Embassy by Storm


Young Leaders of 2009 take the stage at the Swiss Embassy

Your Game matches community groups working with 16-25 year-olds to funding, training and employment opportunities. It does this through community festivals and year round support.


The Swiss Embassy opened its doors and played host for the evening as the 2009 Your Game All Stars were unveiled.

Eight young people from across the UK were selected for making an outstanding contribution to their local communities and will now receive a year of support and mentoring from BBC Your Game.

Your Game All-Stars at the Embassy
A busy night for the All-Stars at the Swiss Embassy

The new All Stars travelled from as far a field as Belfast and Glasgow to take part in a series of skills workshops at the Embassy.

They worked on personal development plans for the forthcoming year with the help of training providers Brathay. They also took part in a fundraising session with the charity UnLtd and a media workshop with BBC staff.

09 All Star 17-year-old Liam Willis from Hull said, "Everyone at home is really chuffed at me becoming an All Star. If you said to me that I'd be in London with the BBC at the Swiss Embassy I would never have believed you. It's been a really good experience."

08 & 09 All-Stars
08 All-Star Lalona Watts with 09 counterparts Chloe Tolman & Louise Irvine

The evening reception, MCed by BBC 1Xtra DJ Robbo Ranx, was a chance for the new All Stars to talk to movers and shakers in the worlds of sport, government and the media, including Richard Caborn, the head of the World Cup 2018 committee.

The new signings also spoke with last year's All Stars, who received awards at the ceremony.

The Swiss Ambassador, Alexis Lautenberg, then announced a trip to Switzerland for the All Stars next month, where they will have the opportunity to experience a Swiss apprenticeship scheme.

He said: "Your Game uses sport - and football in particular - to give young people a sense of purpose and dedication, and that is why we continue to back the scheme.

"This is something we do particularly well in Switzerland and is directly linked to the way we train apprentices. Young people don't necessarily go to university [in Switzerland]. Instead, they can follow a skills development scheme which allows them to become highly professional at their job".

Leicester City's Swiss Defender Bruno Berner was also on hand to support the event, "I was invited by the Swiss Embassy and found out pretty quickly how Your Game supports under served communities. Football is a good medium for doing this. I have been really impressed by how you guys try and support these young people and I think you do a fantastic job."

09 Your Game All Star Louise Irvine
09 All Star Louise Irvine working with former BBC Sports Reporter Dom Cotton

Twenty-three year old Louise Irvine from Belfast "I found that there could be a lot of doors that could be open by becoming an Your Game All Star and I'm looking forward to going to Switzerland. It was lovely to meet Bruno and I told him that I scored a goal for Northern Ireland Ladies International team against Switzerland and I don't think he was too happy!"

• The 2009 Your Game All Stars are: Aaron Cardozo from Swindon, Louise Irvine from Belfast, Lee Park from Bournemouth, Adil Naseem from Glasgow, Chloe Tolman from The Wirral, Damian Tominey from Grimsby, Darren Viney from Liverpool and Liam Willis from Hull.

Your Game is a BBC social inclusion project supported by Sport Relief

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see also
14 Oct 09 |  Your Game
Ideal Start to 2010
20 Jan 10 |  Your Game

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