AP McCoy visits Derry charity Youth Action to launch Sport Relief 2020

One of the North’s biggest sporting stars has visited a Derry charity to help launch this year’s Sport Relief appeal.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 3:55 pm
LONDONDERRY - JAN 31: AP McCoy goes paddleboarding with the team from Youth Action Northern Ireland, who have linked with Far and Wild to deliver a 5-step programme which integrates sport with outcomes around confidence building and leadership. They are using a handful of sports to increase womenâ€TMs comfort with their bodies and their fitness. (Photo by Chris Barr/Comic Relief)

Legendary jockey AP McCoy called in on Youth Action NI, a youth work charity which has received Sport Relief donations to fund the ‘Steeper Steps’ programme.

The project helps vulnerable women build their confidence and leadership skills and improve their potential in life outside of sports.

They use different sports, including paddle boarding and outdoor pursuits, to increase women’s comfort with their bodies and fitness.

The women meet like minded individuals from similar backgrounds who may have experienced homelessness, family separation and mental health issues.

During his visit AP tried paddle boarding and met Anna, one of the women who have been supported by the project.

Anna has two young children and said she finds taking part in outdoor activities, including paddle boarding, a great escape from ‘mum life’.

Anna lost her own mother at a young age and after dropping out of school began drinking heavily and fell into depression.

At the age of 18, she fell pregnant and following the birth of her child, she suffered from postnatal depression.

Anna was recommended to the group by her sister and it has helped build her confidence. She is now back in education and studying business and administration.

Following his visit, AP McCoy said: “I’m calling on everyone across Northern Ireland to join me in getting behind this year’s Sport Relief campaign.

“I’ve seen first-hand the incredible work of the ‘Steeper Steps’ programme at Youth Action.

“They help women learn new skills and build confidence through sport. Come on Northern Ireland – it’s game on!”

Since the last Sport Relief, some of the money raised has help support 27 organisations right across the North.

This year’s star studded line-up will see famous faces trek a 100-mile triathlon on ice in Mongolia, a televised night of Sport Relief entertainment in BBC and an unmissable competition for schools around the UK with double Olympic gold medallist, Max Whitlock MBE.

The Sport Relief merchandise will be available exclusively in Sainsburys and selected Argos stores from February 15.

For more information about Sport Relief or to register for a fundraising pack visit http://www.sportrelief.com/