April 25th, 2018 | NEWS
Sport Changes Life (SCL), a sports foundation with offices in Northern Ireland and America, are delighted to welcome former SCL director and Board member Dr Suresh Tharma FRCOG (founder of the 3fivetwo Group), as their new Chairman.
The Malaysian born Northern Ireland resident of 24 years who regards Belfast as his home was an eminent Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist for 15 years but is now a leading business leader. He founded the 3fivetwo Group which is Northern Ireland’s largest private healthcare company in 2003 with a vision of providing local people with a choice of world leading healthcare services on their doorstep.
Dr Tharma was drawn to Sport Changes Life because of its objective of using sport to engage with young people from underprivileged backgrounds, to raise their aspirations and improve their life skills. All these principles still resonate strongly with him. Commenting on his new appointment he said,
“Sport Changes Life is a vibrant energetic and inspiring charity which through my personal passions of sport, education and community engagement; truly change lives of young people. I am immensely proud to chair this Board of committed individuals who as a team, want to make a difference to the young people of today and our leaders of tomorrow.
I’d also like to thank the outgoing Chairman, David Gavaghan, for his tremendous work during his tenure as Chair. David has handed over a charity, which is financially stable and in excellent shape to deliver its goals. Under his chairmanship, Sport Changes Life brought the first international college basketball event of its kind to Northern Ireland, securing the event for the next three years.”
SCL CEO Gareth Maguire, welcomes Dr Suresh Tharma and is very confident this new chapter for the charity will be able to increase its brand awareness, solidify its future and more importantly enable the foundation to reach out to and support more young people.
“We’ve been established for over a decade now and we are dedicated to raising the aspirations of young people using sporting excellence, academic achievement and personal development. SCL achieves this through the delivery of a number of youth engagement programmes across Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Our pioneering Victory Scholar Programme, co-founded in partnership with Ulster University, brings sporting role models in the form of high level college student athletes, from the United States, to work with disadvantaged youth, while studying for a Master’s degree.
In the last year SCL engaged with 7737 young people, between the ages of 14 and 25 years, during 1845 sessions, and in the process provided over 33,646 engagement opportunities. These young people who experience educational, economic and social deprivation in their daily lives are mentored and inspired by our Sport Changes Life sporting ambassadors and trainers; to provide a focus and belief in themselves.
Through sport, education and individual personal development programmes, provided in conjunction with local community leaders; these programmes have shown to improve truancy, improve employment opportunities and reduce crime,” said Gareth.