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Monday 06 January 2014

Saints Foundation stars enjoy spotlight at awards ceremony

Participants, volunteers and supporters are honoured at St Mary's Stadium event

Participants and volunteers are honoured at the Star Awards evening at the St Mary's Stadium. Video courtesy: BBC Sport

The Saints Foundation honoured volunteers, participants and supporters of their many community programmes at a glittering awards ceremony at St Mary’s Stadium last month.

More than 200 guests attended the Star Awards event including Southampton first-team manager Mauricio Pochettino and players Danny Fox and Jay Rodriguez. Saints Foundation Ambassador Iwan Thomas, who won the silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in the 4x400 metres relay, presented the awards.

The winners of the three categories were: Dwaine Smart (Saints4Sport Project), Sam Chamberlain (Young Person's Award) and Richard Lynn and Peter Ellison (Saints-Ability Award).  

"The work the charity does is mind-blowing," Thomas said.

Smart has a challenging life story of violence, prison and rehab but he turned his life around with the help of Saints4Sport, which works in partnership with homeless charity Society of St James. He now mentors and supports others who face the same challenges he did.

"Knowing that I have actually stopped one child from going out there putting his life at risk, someone's else's life at risk, taking a drug, supporting any kind of crime; I sleep well at night," Smart said.

Young participants from the Saints Foundation entertained the guests with street and contemporary dance, while there was the first appearance of the Saints Foundation Choir.

"The Star Awards offers a fantastic platform to highlight the achievements of our participants and we were delighted to welcome the many organisations and individuals who contribute to the success of the Foundation," said Mark Abrahams, the head of the Saints Foundation. "The Saints Foundation will be investing £1.2m in local projects for local people during this season and we are committed to increasing our investment going forward."

To find out more about the Saints Foundation, which works with 25,000 young people and adults each year, click here >>

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Key Points

  • Saints Foundation held their Star Awards ceremony last month
  • Event honours those who take part and volunteer in the Foundation's projects
  • Olympic 400m runner Ewan Thomas was one of the special guests at the St Mary's Stadium