Summer off the streets

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Summer Off The Streets

free scheme in Cirencester gives children a fun day of football during the summer holidays.

A free initiative run by the NCFA, Cotswold District Council and Cirencester Town Council provided children from the ages of 8 to 15 with a day’s football. Local NCFA coaches facilitated the action along with a young teenage coach working on the NCFA mentoring scheme.

The day consisted of fun warm ups with a ball, games and then hours of 3v3 and 6v6 games with plenty of breaks to take on water and get their breath back.

NCFA events co-ordinator Paul Cooper gave some insight on the day ‘€“ “It is a great initiative and I just can’t believe how quickly the day flew by. It really was a fantastic day; it is always great to see children playing football, not for points or shiny trophies but for the sheer joy of it. The football was fantastic ‘€“ competitive, skilful and end to end. Some of the play was outrageous, really great to see kids lose their inhibitions and just try anything.”

Paul also explained a little more about the NCFA mentoring programme.

“I work at a local school in the Inclusion Centre and spend an hour a week with year 11 pupil Ryan (15) working on reading skills. Rather than just reading out allowed we thought it would be great to involve Ryan’s passion for football so we are writing a book together. Ryan play’s for a local team and I used to run a junior club side. There are plenty of manuals of how to run teams but not from the child’s perspective, so each chapter has a section written by Ryan. It has also really helped his reading and written work.”

As well as the writing Ryan is involved in projects like the ‘Summer Off the Streets’ one and a Saturday morning NCFA initiative with local football club Poulton FC. The Junior section at Poulton is for children aged 5-13 but rather than have league teams the children come and play for fun. It is proving very popular and this September will be the third season the scheme has been in operation.

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