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Weekly Football: January 2019 - January 2023

Since January 2019 we have organised weekly football sessions at numerous locations including: South and City College (Bordesley Green Campus), Bordesley Green Girls School, Saltley Academy, Joseph Chamberlain College, Ward End Cricket Club, Aston Power League and Yardley Power League. Each of these sessions have been very successful and some are still active and growing in numbers till this day, others due to funding limitations and/or facilities no longer being available/cost friendly, have ended. The sessions itself have engaged young people ranging from ages 5 years old going up to 24 years old, with both indoors and outdoors delivery across all 12 months in the year.

Our current active sessions are on a Saturday morning from 10-11:30am for primary school aged children, whilst for secondary and college students it is from 1-3pm. At the session youngsters are able to meet new people, make new/more friends as well as improving their technical and tactical football skills, overseen by FA qualified football coaches. Towards the second half of the session they are able to play a competitive match between themselves.

The importance behind us delivering these football sessions is that for the younger participants it allows them to get away from the tech devices and their normal surroundings and to be able to exercise in a fun and enjoyable way with other young people that live locally to them. This not only has a positive impact on their physical health but also their mental health. For the older participants we have attending, the importance is very much the same with the additional benefits of keeping them off the streets with nothing to do and providing them with something productive, a safe space to come to whilst also having opportunities to further themselves with volunteering and accredited qualifications. Our success is measured in many different ways but one way is the number of new young people attending that have come through other young people referring.

Over the last four years we have engaged more than 300 young people from BAME and deprived communities in our regular football sessions whilst also supporting 12 volunteers go on to complete accredited qualifications with 6 of them now delivering and leading sessions on a paid basis. Having a clear pathway is vital not only for long term engagement but also to motivate and inspire other young people, that they can also follow in the foot steps of those that they have seen become coaches. It highlights the importance of having positive local role models whom you can relate to. This will not only benefit them in a sporting capacity but also in terms of them being successful with their education too.

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