Sport in the community

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

The Onside Carshalton project is a community football project for children aged 3-8 years old. The purpose is to bring the local community together through sport, providing free, high quality coaching sessions for children living locally, in a safe and encouraging environment and to give their parents a much needed break.

Football is a great way of bringing people of all backgrounds together and we have specifically aimed to reach out to as many people as possible, regardless of status, race, religion, etc. We provide free teas/coffee and snacks for the parents/guardians who bring their children along and this has been a great way for people to get to know one another. Although all of our coaches are volunteers they all have experience in coaching or working with children and we have a high ratio of coaches to children to ensure that each child benefits fully from coming along and learns new skills. Our drills are designed for smaller children, focusing on fun games which help develop core strength and the sporting fundamentals of agility, balance, co-ordination and speed. We also incorporate a mentoring element to training sessions (our Onside Goals Programme), looking at things such as teamwork, communication, fair-play, etc. and making sure that emphasis is placed as much on personal development as it is on sport.

Something which we have incorporated into our programme is our kit scheme, whereby the children who come along 'earn' pieces of football kit. If children attend eight training sessions they will receive a Nike football shirt. If they attend another eight sessions they will then earn another piece of kit. All kit is given away free of charge. The purpose of this is to create a sense of identity for the children and to give them a sense of achievement, knowing that the kits they are wearing can't be bought but must earned. This has proven to be very popular amongst the children and the look of pride on their faces when they receive their new shirts, which they themselves have earned, is fantastic!

Ultimately the aim of the project is to bring people together, build community, get young people playing sport in a safe environment and have something that young people love attending and have pride in. We also want a community project where people aren't constantly being ripped off by organisations who are only interested in bringing in as many kids as possible, charging them for lessons and kits and providing sub-standard coaching. Our project is designed to be counter cultural, where kit and training is free, where our training programme is as good, if not better, than professional clubs in the area and where the most important people are the children who come along and the people who bring them.

Onside Soccer

Location: Carshalton

What makes us most proud of our project is the look of joy and pride on a child's face when they pull on their new football shirt which they have earned through their own hard work and effort.
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