Football coaching courses are about to kick off in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Newcastle Borough Council is running daily sessions for boys and girls of all abilities during the half-term holidays to help improve their skills and techniques.
The courses, suitable for five to 13-year-olds, include mini soccer games, penalty shootouts and crossbar challenges.
They run from 10am to 4pm at Roe Lane playing fields, Newcastle, on Monday 15, Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 February followed by Kidsgrove Sports Centre on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 February.
Places cost £10 per child each day and can be booked at Jubilee2, Kidsgrove Sports Centre or by calling 01782 786162.
The Council’s football development programme has FA Charter Standard status which means it meets best practice standards of coaching, administration and child protection.
On Wednesday 21st November I was invited to attend St George’s Park in Burton-upon-Trent. I attended the event with the Chairman of Staffordshire Moorlands district Council, Councillor Stephen Ellis who is keen on promoting sport in the community like me. St. George’s Park is the home of the new National Football Centre.
Set in the National Forest, in 330 acres of beautifully landscaped parkland, the centre is the training base for the 24 England teams and features 2 Hilton hotels.
St. George’s Park is also the home of FA Learning, The FA’s educational department. Through the delivery of national coach education courses, St. George’s Park will provide a platform for the communication of The Future Game philosophy, which outlines a vision for the development of English football.
The Future Game will be brought to life in the football centre which includes a full-sized indoor third generation football pitch equipped with a viewing gallery for up to 200 people, a 60mx40m multipurpose indoor sports hall, 11 full size outdoor pitches and one elite DESSO training pitch which is an exact replica of Wembley.
This £100 Million pound facility has been a god send for Burton and the surrounding areas including Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. The FA has made sure St George’s Park is something that will last for many future generations to come.
The evening was a huge success and plenty of people from across Staffordshire and beyond thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We got to listen to sporting heroes, Olympians and volunteers of the London Olympic 2012 that really made us proud to be British.
The question I asked myself was what do we need to do in Kidsgrove and Newcastle to attract funding on this scale and is it possible?
The simple answer is yes! With a lot of hard work and the political establishments of Newcastle Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council and Kidsgrove Town Council working together we could make a huge difference and achieve goals. But there has to be the will to achieve these goals and make us attractive to investors. The one thing we have going for us is you. The people of Staffordshire!
We have just waited 12 months for Staffordshire County Council to repair our Swimming Pool ceiling. Mainly because of organisations spending time arguing who should pay what? Well guess what top guys, we put you where you are to make a difference, to secure what we need to keep our communities healthy.
Kidsgrove baths were reopened on Saturday 17th November to a crowd of young people waiting for their free swim. And there you have what’s so important about this, young people. We have to keep fighting for better leisure facilities and more funding for the future generations of Kidsgrove and the wider area. We are a country facing a national obesity crisis whilst local councils are facing huge cuts from National Government. It’s time our Government whatever political persuasion realises that you can’t and never should put a price on the health of the young and elderly people of our community. Privatisation is not always the answer and in my opinion the local authority should always offer leisure facilities fit for purpose and of good quality. We deserve no less so I go away from this shouting even louder about how important this subject is. The political elite needs to change the attitude and do what’s in the best interests of the community because the famous saying goes; don’t try to pass the buck!