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FC United Moston Summer Play Scheme

Over a three week period, FC United have been running a summer play scheme at Broadhurst Park and Moston Miners Arts and Community Centre. The scheme centred around improving footballing skills, teaching teamwork and culminated in a whole session on a day in the life of a professional footballer.

When the scheme first started there were five children turning up. Once it had closed there were around 30 children turning up each day to take part in the scheme. It did not take long for word to spread around Moston about the good work being done by lead coaches Swampy and Nick Swirad who were accompanied by Steve Moth, Paddy Walsh and Ahmed Sheik in the various sessions. They were also aided on occasion by some of the young lads taking part in a Summer Youth Project with the Club.

For the first week, two 14 year old boys who had been playing football by themselves took part and also helped out really well with the coaching.

The age range of the scheme also changed dramatically, as participants went from ages 8-13 to ages 5-16 year olds. This included a number of children with special needs including one lad with ADHD.

The final day saw the children taken through a ‘day in the life’ of a footballer. On arrival at the Miners Centre they were provided with fresh fruit for breakfast, before being sat down and shown coaching videos, a DVD on the history of football and one profiling Roy Keane. That was followed by discussions on the importance of team work before heading back onto the park for coaching with the children encouraged to set up basic drills. Each day had already started with Nick Swirad taking them through the same warm up the FC United team use prior to each match.

For lunch the menu consisted of pasta bake, macaroni cheese, baked potatoes with beans or sweetcorn, salad, soft drinks and a number of nutritional bars. Afterwards both Roy Soule and Matty Wolfenden took them through their experiences as both professional and semi professional footballers with the children listening intently before asking good questions of the two. Both had volunteered to come down and signed autographs for all who were there.

Finally there was a five-a-side tournament with Mick Dean taking photographs of everyone taking part. Continuing the footballer’s diet theme, 200 Jaffa Cakes were eaten very quickly before the presentation. Everyone received an FC bag, certificate and medal. They all talked about how they had improved over the weeks and the improvement in manners was highly noticeable.

The Miners Centre developed as the base of operations for the week, along with the Sure Start Centre on Broadhurst Park. Our thanks must go to Lou Beckett, Lynn and all at both centres for their support and warm welcome. FC United have developed strong links with them and we will certainly be using them in the future as a venue for further work in the area.

Overall the play scheme has been a great success and has helped us to reach deeper into the Moston community and help people understand what this football club of ours is all about. The children were all offered free tickets for the Rushall Olympic game with 70% of the group turning up on the day. With the continuation of the good work in the area over the coming months as the children go back to school we can only spread that message further and reach out to a wider audience in Moston and North Manchester as a whole.

First Posted ~ 15:08 Wed 21 Sep 2011
News ID ~ 8923
Last Updated ~ 01:56 Wed 17 Feb 2021