Ayrshire College is Connecting Communities with new sports clubs

Ayrshire College is Connecting Communities with new sports clubs

Free weekly football, dance, and multi-sport groups will be available to the Ayrshire public at Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus thanks to a new initiative called Connecting Communities.

Launched in partnership between Ayrshire College and the Kris Boyd Charity, KB9 Academy, Vibrant Communities, East Ayrshire Active Schools, and Ayrshire Sportsability - Connecting Communities will see four new community groups running at Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus:

  • Kris Boyd Soccer School every Monday from 4pm to 5pm for boys aged 5-12
  • Kris Boyd Dance School every Wednesday from 4pm to 5pm for boys and girls aged 5-18
  • Kris Boyd Para Football every Thursday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm for ages 5-18
  • Kris Boyd Care Experienced Sports Club every Friday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm for boys and girls aged 5-18

Sportswear companies Kelme and Only Sport have kindly donated free kit to all Connecting Communities participants.

Sky Sports News presented live from Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus as the Kris Boyd Soccer School got underway this week. Sky Sports News presenter Mark Benstead interviewed Kris Boyd about the initiative and how it is set to benefit around 250 young people in Ayrshire.

Former Kilmarnock and Scotland striker Kris Boyd said: “This is an amazing opportunity to provide free physical activity to the young people of Ayrshire. I am delighted to be working with great community partners to deliver this programme. There are many barriers to participation, but we have shown here that by working with willing and enthusiastic partners, these can be overcome.

“Participation in regular physical activity is so important, not only in terms of physical wellbeing, but it also has many social, emotional and therapeutic benefits. This is only the start; our intention is to offer more options in the near future and then expand into different areas within Ayrshire.”

John McTaggart, Curriculum Manager for Sport & Fitness at Ayrshire College, said: “The strength of this Connecting Communities initiative is bringing all the partners together to create quality coaching opportunities for our students whilst providing free physical activity to a variety of client groups. This enables our students to work in environments that will be so beneficial to their personal and professional development. Our community partners are fully invested in this and will be able offer support and advice to our students who could be future employees of our partners.”

Dianne Campbell of Ayrshire Sportsability said: “Having recently had 500 young people of Ayrshire attend our Festival of Sport at the college, we are delighted to be working in partnership with so many wonderful partners to deliver Para-Football. This is a great opportunity to come together in a fun, friendly environment and receive first class coaching with the opportunity to be talent identified and get on the development pathway. As a result of our previous programme we delivered, two young people are now in the national development squad for basketball. I have no doubt this could be replicated with Para-Football.”

Jamie Turnbull, Family Support Practitioner at East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “Sport and recreation has such positive and powerful impact on young people’s lives that it is great to see Kris, Ayrshire College along with other agencies working together to make this happen.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for care experience young people to access and is particularly relevant as it is National Care Experience week starting 19 October.”

Brian Whittle, MSP for South Scotland, said “Initiatives like Connecting Communities are a fantastic example of the kind of joined up thinking we need to get more young people active. There’s no one-size fits all approach here; it’s about giving young people the widest range of opportunities and letting them find what works for them.

Sport and physical activity can make a big difference to a young person’s physical and mental health, but more than that it can help them make new friends, build self-confidence and give them skills that set them up for later in life.

“I’m delighted to support Ayrshire College, the Kris Boyd Charity and their other partners who are leading the way on this.”

18 October 2019

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