A cutting-edge sports programme run by young people in Brent has been commended at a prestigious awards ceremony.
Phonix Leadership Academy, a not-for-profit group which runs free sports leadership courses for 11 to 25-year-olds, received a number of gongs at a special ceremony held at Wembley Stadium at the end of last month.
Youth workers from the scheme were presented with awards for their achievements by England and Arsenal footballer Rachel Yankey and were treated to a tour of the national stadium.
More than 300 teenagers have taken part in the Wembleybased programme since it was set up by Brent Youth Service two years ago.
And at the ceremony they were given the chance to showcase the good work they have been doing.
Cassandra Linton-Marshall, 19, who chairs Phonix, said: "We have been overwhelmed with the progress we have made in the two years since the group started.
"We have enrolled over 300 young people on our courses, giving them the opportunity to develop leadership skills, build self-esteem and make friends.
"We're hoping to continue this success and encourage more young people to play an active role in their community."
Brent MPs Sarah Teather and Dawn Butler and the deputy mayor of Brent, Jim O'Sullivan, attended the event to celebrate the academy's success.
Miss Yankey said: "Phonix is doing some wonderful work in the community.
"It is empowering young people to be role models for others their age and giving them the opportunity to gain expertise in sports leadership.
"Young people are also being equipped with very important skills at a young age, including building confidence and speaking in public."
The group was launched in October 2006 by a group of students from Wembley High Technology College, thanks to funds from Brent Council's Youth Opportunity Fund.
The scheme aims to empower young people through sport by developing leadership skills, knowledge and experience and encouraging active community involvement.
Throughout the year young people can train to be junior leaders in sports and activities including football, netball and dance.
There are also higher sports leaders' and community sports leaders' courses, all of which are nationally recognised and accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.
For more information about training to be a sports leader with the Phonix Leadership Academy, please call Nadia Khan at Brent Youth Service on 020 8937 3720 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.