Fun, football and friendship at weekly football coaching sessions  Posted on 12 April 2024

One of the young footballers in Newtownards
One of the young footballers learning new skills

Children who live in Weavers Grange, Newtownards have been perfecting their football skills, having fun and making new friends in weekly coaching sessions supported by Clanmil and Communities in Transition.  

 The sessions were introduced by Clanmil to help families get to know their new neighbours and to encourage healthy play among children aged from three to 11.  Each weekly meet-up takes place at Londonderry Park in Newtownards, with sessions delivered by coaches from Kickabout Kidz, who specialise in providing football coaching for children. 

 Dee Brotherson, head coach with Kickabout Kidz, said the sessions have been going well: 

 “We’d like to thank Clanmil for trusting us with this vital project. We’re delighted to see the children having fun while learning new skills and most importantly, building up their confidence and social skills. Programmes like this are invaluable to the local community and we look forward to delivering more initiatives like this in the future.”  

One of the parents who lives in Weavers Grange said her children who have been taking part have loved every minute:  

It's great to get the kids out playing and enjoying the fresh air, and it allows them to use up lots of energy. They always get a really good night's sleep afterwards. We’re really grateful to Clanmil for arranging this.” 

 Linzi Webb, Housing Officer with Clanmil added: 

“Activities like this encourage young people to keep active, and are part of our commitment to helping communities to thrive. With some new families having recently moved into Weavers Grange, these weekly sessions have been the perfect opportunity for them to get to know their new neighbours. It’s been so encouraging to see how everyone has been progressing over the six weeks.” 

 Pete Wray from Northern Ireland Alternatives added: 

“We are delighted to support these weekly sessions in partnership with Clanmil, with funding from the Communities in Transition Programme. We aim to support communities by building resilience and providing opportunities for residents to have ownership and take pride in their community. Initiatives like this help to bring people together and build a sense of community spirit."