With the backing of the National League Trust the new FC Halifax Town community programme started in 2013. A strong focus of our ethos has always been to use the name of FC Halifax Town and the power of football to make a positive difference to the Calderdale community. We are still very much at the beginning of an evolving programme but we believe we are creating a unique and sustainable programme to involve, inspire, educate and drive up the aspirations of people in Calderdale. Through our community group we provide opportunities for children, young people, those with learning disabilities and older people. We work with a network of professional bodies and use the power of football to offer various opportunities; enabling people to achieve their full potential through sport and use FC Halifax Town as a platform to showcase their talents.
We, thankfully, have received support from many organisations to develop our programme but particularly the National League Trust who have, over three years donated £40,930. This figure has now increased to £45,310.
Following a presentation from the trust at the Salford City match.
Our local schools. . .
A number of schools have taken part in our half-time schools competition and match day experience. Both initiatives are supported by the National League Trust funding and have been a great success. As well as receiving a coaching session or game,the players will hold a Q&A with a first team player, form a guard of honour as the players enter the field and oversee ball boy duties.
So how have we done so far?
· 16 junior clubs have participated in the match day experience
· 11 schools participated in the 2016 Adam Heslop Cup
· 10 schools will participate in the 2016/17 half-time schools competition
· 18 schools have received a free coaching session delivered by our community team in partnership with Calderdale Council’s Better Living Team
· 13 schools received an FA Trophy visit as part of a school assembly
· 70 players aged 5-16 now attend our weekly development coaching sessions
What’s next. . .
As we move forwards we aim to consolidate and drive forwards the existing programmes we have in place.We will focus on. . .
· Increasing the number of schools we work with on a weekly basis, delivering more school clubs and curriculum coaching sessions.
· Develop and implement a comprehensive teacher training programme providing the opportunity for schools to up-skill their teachers.
· Strengthen our coaching team in numbers and education with further in service training to cement the FC Halifax Town way of playing.
· Expand the number of accessible coaching sessions in our 5-16s development programme.
· Trial and implement a new toddler programme;‘Shaytots’. The programme for children aged six months to four years will involve parents’active participation. The initiative will address the physical literacy of children teaching basic movement patterns, balance and motor coordination through football. In addition Shaytots will increase the bonding time between children and parents and help children learn numbers, the alphabet, colours and body parts.
Should Shaytots develop into a successful scheme (we are confident it will!) a child who joins Shaytots at the age of 6 months could participate within our programme until the age of 21 years. Getting involved could be life changing for many individuals where our football programme can have a lasting impression throughout a young person’s childhood.
The ‘halo’ effect of football across the community
This is exactly how football should be used, as a medium to create positive experiences for all. One example springs to mind of a young person, a former member of our U16 training group. This person achieved quite low GCSE grades; he was unsure what path to follow leaving school and was struggling a little emotionally due to the recent divorce of his parents. 10.10% of the Calderdale population are classified at NEET (not in education, employment or training), traditionally those classified as NEET are 20% more likely to commit a crime. This young person had the potential to fall into that category. As a result of being engaged by our programme, he progressed into our youth team programme. He has since achieved a BTEC Sport Level 3 qualification and retaken is English at GCSE level. As a result this young person seems to have much improved self-esteem, maintains a positive outlook on life and his future prospects.
A sincere thank you. . .
None of this would be possible without the support of the National League Trust, players, parents, schools, Calderdale College and staff/volunteers at the club – we have an excellent and dedicated team fully focused on taking the programme forward. We are fully appreciative of the time, effort and support we receive – thank you.
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