Arbroath F.C. aim to develop an Under-9 and Under-11 girls and boys football programme in line with the Scottish FA’s National Player Pathway. In partnership with the Scottish FA Club Development Officer, the Active Schools Network and Arbroath Community Sports Club, they aim to deliver taster sessions in cluster primary schools for both males and females.
The club will then deliver a 20 week fun four and skills development programme for boys and girls. In order to support a positive learning experience for female players, there will be a girls only section of this programme.
Within this 20 week programme, volunteer recruitment evenings will be held to make the programme sustainable. This event would aim to recruit coaches and club leaders to support the operational side of running a club. The club anticipates being able to deliver this programme twice a year.
Through consultation in the local area and with the Scottish FA, it has been identified that there is a need for girls football provision in Arbroath and the surrounding area. It is imperative that the club encourage the girls from the programmes to attend local club sessions to support the sustainability of the local community club. Links will be established with Arbroath CSC to ensure the girls will have pathways into lifelong participation. It has also been identified that boys currently have a pathway into the Arbroath CSC teams however the aim is for this programme to support more boys joining the local teams – this will be longer term partnership work within the local community and supporting player pathways into local clubs.
Another initiative which the club operates is a “Matchday Experience” for youth football clubs in the community. This includes the local youth football teams of Arbroath Lads Club, Arbroath Community Sports Club, Carnoustie Football Academy and St. Murdochs. The age of the children involved ranges from Under-7s to Under-15s and includes both boys and girls. There is also a group of children from the Angus Special Playscheme taking part in this project. These children have mental and physical issues and this part of this project will be particularly rewarding for all involved.
This season at every Arbroath F.C. home match, there will be a local youth team visiting and taking part in the “Matchday Experience” which involves the youth team watching the match for free, taking part in a half-time kick about on the pitch, complimentary refreshments and the chance to meet some of the players. The club intend to produce an educational video that conveys relevant messages about community involvement, health and wellbeing, encouraging their involvement in football as well as emphasising the fun and enjoyment they will get from participation. These messages will be delivered by the club’s management and players, who are the role models and idols of young fans. The club have plans to change what was previously a storage room within the ground into a youth team changing room and base. The various youth clubs will have ownership of the new changing room as their club crests will be on the walls of the room and will form a base for the teams and allow them to come into the ground earlier. The community award will also allow the club to purchase new training equipment for the kids involved in both the taster sessions and the “Matchday Experience”.
Brian Cargill, Director of the club said “The lasting benefit of this project will be the establishment of better relationships with our community groups, promoting our brand in the community, allowing us to increase our fan base and improve the social responsibility around the town of Arbroath.”