WORLD leaders and sporting heroes gathered in Qatar last week and amongst them were two men from Tyldesley.
PC Andy Wright and deputy head teacher Pete Hodkinson run the Nowt2Do Project at Fred Longworth High School which provides free after school activities for secondary school children to try and keep them out of trouble.
The pair spoke at the Doha Goals Forum, a conference aimed at sharing positive initiatives to promote sport across the globe.
Pete said: “The idea of the forum was to get world delegates together to share good practice and initiatives. Everyone was asking where Tyldesley is and my answer is in the centre of the universe.
“We have already been voted the best and brightest extracurricular scheme which is not just recognised by Great Britain but by sports leaders around the world and now this.
“Sports ministers, prime ministers, presidents, kings, world class athletes and Olympians were all there and they were all trying to export good ideas to spread sport - especially to the third world.”
Nowt2Do is designed to be simple, its aim is to bring together children with nothing to do and school facilities that aren’t being used to run drama, sport and educational sessions with the help of volunteers and teachers.
It is partly funded by the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), whereby funds from criminals are seized and distributed to the community.
Andy said: “I initially turned Doha down because I thought it would be all words and no action but it does want to achieve something and we’ve made some great contacts through it.
"Some of the best feedback was about Nowt2Do and I think that was because of its simplicity. This could be in every school in two years because it is transferable; I just need to create the tool box.
“Our aim is to stop children getting into the criminal justice system and we can do this by spending the same a year that it would for one child to go through the justice system.”
Amongst the world leaders were other familiar faces such as Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes, American sprinter Michael Johnson and triple jump world record holder Jonathan Edwards.
Pete said: “It wasn’t intimidation at all because everyone was there for the same reason and to find out about things that they will take back to America, for example, from Tyldesley.”