There were an increasing amount of youth from the ages of around 13 – 26 gathering together on and around the estate, this has been a major problem for many years in terms of anti social behaviour and there have been many attempts to solve the issue, mainly being an attempt to disengage the groups. We wanted to try to tackle this problem positively so started engaging with the them to find out what was missing for them as to why they were just hanging out, yes some of it was drug dealing but mostly it was boredom, nothing to do, nowhere to go..
We started having discussions with a couple of older lads on the estate called Claudio & Anthony who were into bartending and had an established team called Bar Sparta…..insert picture
Bartending is a form of calisthenics, they use the bars against their own body weight enabling them to do pretty awesome things. As with most high intensity sport, focus is the key & to maintain the strength needed they almost have to go into a meditative state so this is excellent for gaining overall calmness, this seemed like the perfect project..
Bartending originated from the prisons in America so it is seen to be very cool with the youngsters. The bars are very popular in other countries such as Spain and Belgium but not many places in London had this set up. We discussed with Bar Sparta how we could get some bars for the estate, and if so would they be prepared to teach the younger people. We put a presentation together for our Housing association (Hyde) to use a piece of land on the estate to set up the bars. The presentation was a success and the Hyde legal team drew up a contract for us. We secured funding from the Big Lottery for the purchase of the bars and have been getting the ground work prepared.
In the meantime we purchased a set of portable bars as a pilot project to see how much interest there would be, we used the estate & our local park for this & were surprised at the amount of participants… add media.
At our festival we organised for the local community on the 12th September 2015, which was also world pull up day the Bar Sparta team had the bars set up & along with all the participants managed 1565 pull ups on the day. ..add pictures
Bar Sparta compete all over the world and in September entered the world championship in Bahrain where they came 2nd.
This is a great example of our young men finding a passion & tapping into their potential.
If you want to see Bar Spartans in action, check out the videos