Term 2 is now behind us, but we are still working hard to ensure the projects that we deliver in the community provide opportunities to improve health and fitness, develop education, and engage hard to reach/excluded communities. As it's the end of the term, we have decided to bring you a quick update on what we have been up to between October and December.
Premier League Girl's Football programme:
We have continued to work in Philips High School, St Monica's and Woodhey. St Gabriel's are the latest high school that have signed up to start girl's football sessions. The girl's football programme is now progressing with the girls attending not only our after-school clubs, but also our weekly football development centres which provide one-to-one sessions hosted by our Football Development Officer, Lewis Marno.
As mentioned in our term 1 update, it's been a strong start our Walking Football season with the Relics now fielding three teams, in three leagues. The weekly Walking Football sessions, which are held at Castle Leisure Centre, have seen a vast improvement in numbers as the sessions have continued to grow. The turnout has increased from 16 to 22 each week. The participants range from over 50's to over 70's, with some of the participants experiencing medical and mental health issues. The social and physical activity provided by Walking Football is helping improve the overall health of its participants.
Our Ability Counts PAN disability teams ended the first half of their season strong both off and on the pitch. The number of participants attending the weekly training has continued to grow, particularly at our junior disability sessions. Our open age players have also benefitted from increasing numbers which has helped bulk-up the squads and create more competition throughout the teams. Volunteer goalkeeper coach, Jordan Booth has seen numbers at his goalkeeping sessions increase, as both junior and open age players, look to improve their goalkeeping skills.
Match Day Activities:
Our match day activities have continued to go from strength to strength as we look to encourage local grassroots sides and youth organisations to get involved. We aim to continue to build relationships in the local community. Every league home game sees groups of children enjoying our kid's zone located in Starkies. The children get the chance to socialise before the match by playing pool, table football, and FIFA, as well as other activities. We have also been lucky enough to have Peeler, and players such as Stephen Dawson, Tom Miller, and Gold Omotayo join us. The players have been fantastic with the children, answering questions and posing for photographs to add something special to their overall experience. Other match day activities include flag bearing and half-time activities such as mini-games and penalty shootouts.
Term 2 saw us continue our work in local primary schools delivering our Premier League Primary Stars programme. Demand for these sessions has always been high, something which has remained in term 2. We have continued to work with existing schools as well as new ones. We don’t just offer P.E sessions, our PSHE lessons, in particular, have gone down a storm and with the word spreading, more and more schools are asking to take part. We have also been able to present at assemblies with players such as Nicky Adams joining us to help us out and give the children a fantastic experience.
To finish off our busy half term 2, we decided to get in the Christmas spirit by celebrating with the schools and the local community. We went out into the town and delivered presents to students that we had been working with. We also worked at a party for the club's over 65 and disabled season ticket holders, and at one for deserving young children in the community.