Young people in Gainsborough are encouraging others to kick off their weekends by looking to the future with new free football sessions in the town.
Run by the Positive Futures scheme, the weekly football sessions at Roses in Gainsborough on Friday nights regularly attract about 20 young men. And for one player, Haydn Green, the sessions have led to work coaching others in sport.
Gainsborough East ward councillor Richard Doran gave £750 of his Councillor Initiative Fund towards the cost of enabling the scheme, which engages young people who might otherwise spend their Friday night drinking or on the streets.
“I was keen to support this as a scheme that is engaging local young people and giving them an opportunity to get together and do something active and fun on a Friday evening,” said Coun Doran.
“The lads seem to enjoy themselves and were all really positive about the scheme – for Haydn to be offered a job through his involvement is an extra bonus.”
He added: “People are quick to complain about youngsters hanging around in town centres, and Positive Futures is a great initiative in offering teenagers and young adults something to do, and it’s free.”
Haydn, 21, of Torr Street, has been attending the sessions for eight months. He played professionally for Scunthorpe United youth team until he was 14.
Now, he is preparing to begin work as an activity worker, supervising other youngsters taking part in the Positive Futures scheme.
He said: “We all come for a kick about, nothing serious. It’s a friendly get together with the lads. We started with only about six or seven people then word of mouth spread and now we get about 20 people regularly. It’s great and I’m so pleased to have been offered a job through coming here.”
Private Dave Smith (20) has been going for about a year and looks forward to the sessions. He said: “They’re all decent lads and get along. It’s about the football and everyone is passionate about the sport.”
The sessions were originally introduced with the aim of helping to combat anti-social behaviour and alcohol misuse by young people on Friday nights.
Adam Thurston, Positive Futures community sports worker in Gainsborough, said: “There are plenty of sports sessions and opportunities for young people within Gainsborough to get involved with through the Positive Futures programme.”
“The project works with young people aged eight to 24. There are different sessions for different age groups ranging from football and dance to dodge ball and boxing.”
The next Positive Futures programme starts next week.
For more information contact Adam Thurston on 07776 452188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org