Set against increasing alarm about knife crime, ITV has commissioned a landmark new documentary offering a vivid insight into the potential for sport to offer young people an alternative path in life to prevent them being drawn into criminality and gang culture.
Produced by Golden Egg Innovation and featuring contributions from the likes of Lord Sebastian Coe, Dame Kelly Holmes and Daley Thompson CBE, Run For Your Life explores the impact of Connie Henry’s Track Academy organisation on youngsters’ lives.
It also highlights Connie's aims to win government-backing for an idea she believes could harness the power of sport to offer positive opportunities to young people in communities afflicted by knife crime and across the country.
Connie is a former Commonwealth Games triple jump medallist and founded Track Academy in North West London in 2007 aiming to turn young people’s lives around who, by their own admission, might otherwise have fallen into crime.
Run For Your Life tracks Connie mentoring her prospects in training and supporting them while they compete. And the young athletes tell the programme their stories of how sport influenced them at crucial stages of their lives.
The devastating impact of knife crime on young people, their families and communities is highlighted with the contribution of Paul Barnes, whose 15-year-old son Quamari was stabbed to death in 2017 and who expresses his hope for sport to help prevent further tragedies by steering young people away from crime.
Produced by Golden Egg Innovation and commissioned by ITV Director Of Sport Niall Sloane, Run For Your Life airs on Tuesday April 23 at 10.45pm. The programme is produced by Steve Boulton and Steve Cockett for Golden Egg Innovation.
Connie says: “By watching the ITV documentary Run For Your Life, the public and politicians will witness a realistic picture of the challenges faced by today’s youngsters - and charities like Track Academy. My hope is that this can lead to a change in the perception of sport and have an impact on young people across the country."
Steve Boulton says: “At a time when we hear plenty of sound-byte solutions to tackling knife crime, Run For Your Life hopes to shine a light on the challenges faced by today’s youth, viewed through the eyes of a sports charity & its founder, who have more than a decade’s experience making an impact on kids’ lives.”
Run For Your Life is the latest documentary commissioned by ITV Sport following the acclaimed Out of Their Skin series shown on ITV and ITV4 in recent months.