McDonald’s Community Coaching Programme proves successful
The Academy has recently started to provide a new coaching scheme to the youths of Ayrshire in the shape of the McDonald’s Community Coaching Programme.
The programme was set up in 2002 when McDonald’s and the SFA became Community Partners. Since then a Community Coaching Programme has been developed to help raise standards in grassroots football across Scotland. As well as giving youngsters the chance to hone their football skills, it has also provided an opportunity for budding coaches. The programme has provided jobs for over 2,000 community coaches. The initiative has also help set up 1,800 new football teams across Scotland since 2002.
This year, Ayr United Football Academy decided to deliver this programme to schools throughout Ayrshire. It is a 4 year programme so over this period, many schools and boys/girls clubs will get the chance to receive the coaching sessions.
Three coaches, in the shape of Scott Agnew, Craig Richmond and Shaun Ferrie deliver the programme for the Academy by carrying out training sessions to local primary schools. In the first year seven schools in Ayrshire have been given the privilege of receiving the McDonalds programme; Ayr Grammar, Holmston, Kincaidston, Forehill, Coylton, St Anns and Mossblown.
After the sessions the coaches ask who is interested in joining a club and they will encourage them to join one of the two teams set up by the programme – Ayr Boswell and Coylton Boys club, both at the under 8 age group. This has been highly successful as it has led to two new under eight teams being created for those two teams. Both of these clubs will be entered into a 4v4 development league that will take place throughout Ayrshire.
Community Development Officer, Shaun Ferrie, who helps run the initiative for the Academy is very enthusiastic about the programme and said: “The programme has been a great success and to be able to deliver it myself has been great as I have seen the great benefit it has had. Not only do the kids get to play football and have a chance of joining a team but this project also looks for adults to get involved and gives them the chance to become a volunteer and help out with the organisation of a team whether it’s through coaching, organising games or dealing with finances.”
This programme is another example where the Academy is helping out the local community to great effect.
Report by Michael Lamont