ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL YEAR AT THE CFS
THE SEASON THAT CONCLUDES TODAY HAS BEEN ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL ONE FOR THE CFS, WHICH CONTINUES TO EXPAND AND DEVELOP. CFS ADMINISTRATOR MICHAEL COOK LOOKS BACK AT THE HIGHLIGHTS
With the season at its culmination, we look back on what has been another busy year for the AFC Wimbledon Community Football Scheme.
Throughout the season our schools coaching programme has grown in size, and we have received outstanding feedback from the schools in which we operate. The CFS team currently coaches in 15 local schools, providing 39 hours of coaching to nearly 600 children per week. The success of these programmes is down to the hard work and dedication of our community coaches, who all do a great job – so please give them a pat on the back if you see them today.
During the past 12 months the CFS has run numerous holiday football and Saturday Football Club course’s with great success. We are proud to have maintained a consistent presence on a weekly basis at Wimbledon Park, with only a few sessions abandoned because of severe weather. Throughout the season the Saturday Football Club has delivered, on average, 108 hours of coaching to nearly 80 children per week, and holiday courses have provided 28 hours of coaching to around 150 participants each week. The commitment and dedication of the children attending these sessions regularly have helped us to reach these impressive figures, so thank you to all of them.
At the beginning of this season we decided that it would be good to have first-team players appearing at CFS events and sessions more often. Since Neal Ardley’s appointment as manager, we have been able to significantly increase the number of first team player appearances. It is not often that youngsters get to interact with professional footballers, and these encounters live long in their memories. So huge thanks to Neal, and his management team of Neil Cox and Simon Bassey, for all the support they give to the CFS.
In partnership with Npower and the Football League, all schools in Merton and neighbouring boroughs were once again given the opportunity to enter the AFC Wimbledon’s Girls and Kids Cup, the eventual winners going on to the regional final and the possibility of competing at Wembley in the national final. The AFC Wimbledon Kids Cup winners were Cleves Primary School, Weybridge, and the Girls Cup Winners were St Philomena’s Catholic High School for girls, Carshalton. Both schools were unable to progress further in the competitions, but their effort and dedication was second to none.
After our success in staging the Kids Cup in the 2011/12 season, we were asked to host the regional finals this time round. Minterne Community Junior School, representing Gillingham FC, were the eventual winners, and they will now play at Wembley against the Northern regional winners, before the League 2 play-off final.
In partnership with Football League sponsor npower, the CFS were able to deliver 34 RESPECT sessions to 19 local schools, reaching over a thousand children. The Respect campaign uses young people’s love of football to encourage good behaviour in all walks of life. Our ‘What’s Your Goal?’ campaign was also funded by npower, and though we were able to deliver the programme to only a handful of schools, we hope for better success next year. The aim of this campaign is to encourage students in school years 10 and 11 to think about their personal attributes and qualities, and how these will relate to different careers.
Our most recent step in expanding our activities has taken the form of a Walking Football programme for the over-50s. Run by us in partnership with Merton Priory Homes and the Sutton & Merton NHS LiveWell organisation, Walking Football is an indoor activity which aims to combat the lack of sport participation and social interaction by the older generation of Merton. The sessions are held at the Tooting & Mitcham Hub and consist of an hour of walking football followed by an hour of social interaction and the use of the Hub’s facilities (including pool, darts and Sky Sports). There is also the opportunity to get some free health advice from NHS LiveWell, and light and healthy snacks area available. Walking Football takes place every Wednesday evening from 6.00 to 8.00 pm at The Hub, Imperial Fields, Bishopsford Road, Morden SM4 6BF and is free of charge. To book a place, call 0208 974 5712 or email email@example.com
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