Two boys approach the starting line, arms twitching with anticipation, legs ready to bolt. They eyeball each other, and there's not much between them. They're thinly built and roughly the same age. But one boy has shoes to run in, and the other does not.
The shot, taken by Brentford Football Club Community Sports Trust chief executive Lee Doyle at the Trust's annual Summer Estate Olympics, is a favourite of general manager Luke Skelhorn.
"That boy thought nothing of running in his socks," Luke says. "The attitude and spirit of those kids is amazing."
The Trust, which won the 2006 Football League Community Club of the Year award and the League 2 award in 2009, provides a range of sports and activities to more than 30,000 children across local schools and hard to reach communities in four London boroughs.
It was first established as Brentford Football in the Community (BFitC) by Brentford Football Club and Ealing and Hounslow local authorities in 1987. The partners aimed to make the club stadium more accessible to the public, and to promote junior football sessions in the community. It did this with the help of a group of coaches recruited from nearby Brunel University
In 2000, BFitC successfully applied for funding from the Positive Futures Project, a government-funded project that used arts and sport to tackle social exclusion. Using funds provided by Positive Futures, the Football Foundation and other partners, it began providing weekly activity sessions to marginalised young people in various Ealing and Hounslow estates, which continue today.
Luke says statistics also show a decrease in anti-social behaviour on the targeted estates during Positive Futures sessions: "The participants turn up at our coaching sessions and are engaged in sports activity, which motivates them and promotes health and wellbeing."
Evolution into Trust
In 2005, BFitC became Brentford Football Club Community Sports Trust. Luke says it was more than just a name change. BFitC was increasingly dependent on partner funding to expand its range of services. Becoming a Trust provided a stronger business framework to attract funding, including donations, for its work with young people and hard to reach communities such as ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.
"We are situated close to the M4 where many major companies like Sky, Glaxo Smith Kline and British Airways have their headquarters. Previously funding and support was only sporadic whereas now they can invest in us as a legitimate local Trust using their corporate social responsibility funds."
One example is the newly launched Street Sports programme, which uses funding from Hounslow Homes, Lovell Partnerships and British Airways to deliver year round sports provision and activities to young people in deprived areas. Another is the Trust's disability programme, which uses money from Sport England, the Football League Trust, Andrew Fuller Marathon Appeal and Aiming High to increase sports participation amongst disabled people and train a number of them to become sports coaches.
"We've evolved as we have because people or organisations have seen value in what we do, and helped us to deliver it," Luke says.
The Trust appointed a board of Trustees to guide the business's activities and accounts, and to provide advice on new funding streams. It also changed its mission.
"Once we became a Trust, we needed to offer more than just football," Luke says. "So, we've branched out into other areas including tennis, cricket, frisbee and kayaking to engage different parts of the community, and to provide them with a link to Brentford Football Club."
Coaching boost prompts expansion
In 2006, the Trust had nine fulltime community sports coaches on its books. It gained an extra 15 fulltime staff "almost overnight" thanks to the government's Community Coach scheme, which provided funding towards the salaries of the new coaching workforce.
Luke says the scheme allowed the Trust to develop and promote the work it offers in schools on a bigger scale. This includes after school and holiday programmes and, more recently, sports lessons as part of teacher's Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time.
"Schools now Trust us to deliver high quality and affordable multi-sports provision. So even when the Community Coach funding finished in 2009, we were able to retain the workforce we had developed."
Keeping up with the competition
Schools are a growing source of income for outfits like the Trust. Many now require coaches delivering sports lessons during PPA time to have a minimum level 2 coaching qualification.
"We need to stay ahead of the game and ensure our workforce is better skilled than other providers, and that they have a good understanding of the national curriculum," Luke says.
In 2007, the Trust set itself a goal to upskill all its full-time coaching staff to a minimum level 2 in their chosen sport. Through partnership work with Pro-Active West, the Trust heard about the SkillsActive London Coaching Bursary scheme. It funds up to two thirds of a coaching course, with the other third paid for by the employer or individual.
The Trust put 20 of its coaching staff on the scheme. A year later, all of the Trust's full-time coaches were qualified up to level two in at least one sport.
"The bursary helped our staff match their coaching ambitions with the right qualifications. It also allowed us to offer more programmes because suddenly we had more coaches upskilled in different sports. We could not have achieved this without the help of SkillsActive."
The Trust's next goal is to get its coaches qualified up to level 2 in at least two sports.
Providing sporting futures for the unemployed
The Trust also worked with SkillsActive's National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure on the government-funded Future Jobs Fund programme, which provided £1bn to help create 150,000 jobs for 18 - 24 year olds who had been out of work for nearly a year.
"It's not easy for us to create new jobs for people as we don't have big surpluses," Luke says. "The funding allowed us to get six young people into the organisation and provide them with an opportunity to learn from our workforce."
By the end of the six months, the Trust's six Future Job Fund employees will have gained a level 1 coaching qualification and six months' work experience.
"At least half of them will be offered apprenticeships, and those that don't will probably be offered part time employment as a coach," Luke says.
Brentford Football Club and its associated Trust are clearly at the heart of the community - as an established force on the pitch at Griffin Park, and a key sports provider off it.
"Brentford Football Club Community Sports Trust is a community club and we passionately believe that we can use sport to make a positive difference locally," Luke says.