AN INSPIRATIONAL Newport volunteer has won an award for his work engaging young people in sport.
Robert Muza, 43, of Lliswerry, was given an award for Outstanding Contribution to Doorstep Sport by national sports charity StreetGames in recognition of his contribution to his local community.
The father of two was presented with the award at the StreetGames National Awards held at the University of Warwick on April 2.
Launched in 2007, StreetGames is supported by Sport England, Sport Wales, Coca-Cola Great Britain, The Co-operative, and the Football Pools, and provides support to a network of projects which give sports and volunteering opportunities to young people in disadvantaged communities across the UK.
The awards recognise the staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to deliver sport to young people from disadvantaged areas.
Mr Muza was chosen from more than 300 projects from across the UK with judges applauding his commitment to helping to change the lives of young people in his local community by giving them the opportunity to access and enjoy sport.
Mr Muza arrived in Wales in 2002 as a refugee and started volunteering in 2004 despite not having a settled place to live or any paid employment.
Since then he has continuously volunteered, working tirelessly to get young people, mainly from migrant backgrounds, to play sport on their doorsteps across Newport.
Alongside his 20 plus hours of volunteering a week, Mr Muza graduated last year with BA(Hons) in Youth and Community (Sports) at University of South Wales and is currently studying Post Graduate Certificate Education - Post Compulsory Education.
Mr Muza will graduate in September 2014 with the aim of becoming a P.E teacher.
“I coach young people aged 16 to 25 to play a type of football called Futsal every Tuesday at the Newport leisure centre which is a type of indoor football that is a development tool for football.
“Through that project alone I have coached around 2,000 young people across Newport.”
With the backing of StreetGames, Mr Muza also volunteers three times a week with JOININ, an EU programme that works with young migrants in Europe with the aim of using sport as a way to promote inclusion, integration and community cohesion.
On average 40 young people attend his football sessions and three times a year up to 500 families attend family fun days and football tournaments which he helps to organise.