Kids Get into Sport at Ayrshire College

Kids Get into Sport at Ayrshire College

There were many kids sporting smiling faces at the recent 'Get Into Summer' Sports Day held at Ayrshire College's Kilmarnock Campus, where former footballers Kris Boyd and Rose Reilly MBE made special appearances.

The Sports Day was the culmination of a free five-week sports camp for 5–12-year-olds.

The #ConnectingCommunities Summer Sports Camp was funded through the Scottish Government's 'Summer of Play' funds administered by East Ayrshire Council.

Delivered by HNC students progressing to HND level at Ayrshire College alongside partners Vibrant Communities, East Ayrshire Active Schools, the Kilmarnock Community Sports Trust, the Kris Boyd Charity, and Rose Reilly MBE, the camp took place between 10am and 1pm Monday to Friday, with football, multi-sport and dance sessions.

Close to 500 participants registered to take part in events across the summer.

A special Sports Day event was held to show invited guests how the programme organisers contribute to East Ayrshire Council and sportscotland's priorities for young people, in particular their health and mental wellbeing, and show the impact these programmes are having on the communities they serve.

Ayrshire College has won widespread acclaim for its #PassingPositivity mental health awareness raising campaign, including the International Green Gown Award for “Benefitting Society” in 2020.

The campaign started out as a social media movement to draw attention to the high prevalence of suicide in the community and gained celebrity support from the likes of WWE wrestler Drew McIntyre, Outlander actor Steven Cree, sports broadcasters Hayley McQueen and Jim White, and the late wrestler Adrian ‘Lionheart’ McCallum.

What started out as a project for the College HND students, now forms the base message for the community sports programme called 'Connecting Communities'.

Connecting Communities brings a wide range of partners together working collaboratively to help drive the mental wellbeing agenda through sport. This is achieved by offering free sport and fitness activities at the College as well as free kit - provided by Only Sport.

This, along with a walking bus for local schools, ensures that no barriers exist to our most vulnerable young people, enabling them to access high quality health and wellbeing activity, develop a range of positive relationships and work on the key components for good mental health which are inherent in sport.

Sessions delivered at the College include:

  • Kris Boyd Football Centre
  • Rose Reilly Football Centre
  • Para Football
  • Basketball
  • Free fitness sessions for parents while activities take place

Cherryl Fulton, Active School Coordinator, said: “The Summer Sports Camp was a brilliant opportunity for all partners involved. The students gained great experience getting 5 weeks of hands-on coaching, whilst the children and young people from all over East Ayrshire enjoyed high-quality sports coaching, which was welcomed after the year the young people have had. The free lunch was the cherry on the cake to top of a truly wonderful summer for the kids.

"For ourselves at Active Schools, Vibrant Communities we had access to a top-of-the-range facility at Ayrshire College, it was fantastic to secure the Get into Summer Scottish Government funding which allowed us to enhance our successful term time Connecting Community programme and run such an effective summer programme.” 

Eddie Fraser, Chief Executive of East Ayrshire Council, said: “Today’s Summer Camp saw over 100 kids taking part in some summer fun, including a variety of games and sports, with everyone attending also being provided with a packed lunch. It was great to see how partners, including SportScotland, have been working together, through sport, to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of young people and the communities we serve.”

Paul di Giacomo, Community Manager at Kilmarnock Football Club, said: "We've got a great partnership going between Ayrshire College, East Ayrshire Council and Kilmarnock Football Club. This has been a fantastic opportunity for these young kids to come get free football, get fed with free packed lunches, and they're out playing in the sunshine rather than being stuck inside playing with their computers. It's a great pathway for the coaches as well, we've seen them develop into fantastic coaches over the past three or four months here at the College."

16 August 2021

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