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Professional Football Clubs come together to reach out to more young people

SIX professional Football Clubs from across the Midlands have joined forces to develop a football based programme to ‘Reach Out’ to inactive young people across the Midlands communities.

The community programmes at Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion from the Premier League , along with the Football League’s Burton Albion, Coventry City, Walsall and Wolverhampton Wanderers have received funding from Sport England’s Innovation fund.

The community programmes will work alongside their local County Sports Partnership to ‘reach out’ to a minimum of 35 young people deemed hard to reach and currently not engaged into regularly Physical activity. This will be delivered in 3 blocks of eight week programmes in the local community’s.

The successful application submitted by Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire County Sports Partnership has been awarded £34k from Sport England. The project aims to use the expertise, experience and brand of the local professional football clubs work in the communities to get more young people playing regular sport.

This unique approach will be the first time this group of clubs from both tiers of the English game have come together in formal capacity to develop a joined up project with local sports development partners. The community programmes who are all registered Charitable Trusts, will also deliver a young leaders programme for identified young people who wish to pursue a career in sport development and coaching. This will take place at St Georges Park and include delivery from some of the best coaches and sports educators from across the region to assist in their future involvement as Community volunteers and hopefully paid staff.

To ensure the partnership approach Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, Black Country, Staffordshire and Birmingham County Sport Partnerships will aim to support the projects by engaging local networks to sustain the provision and add value through existing as well as future funding streams.

Project Manager Jamie Bunch, from JB Sports Consultancy said “Having been involved in local football development for many years, it’s fantastic we have the Clubs and the local Sports Partnerships working together to deliver a project that provides innovative approaches to engage young people in sport from their local community.

I have no doubt having observed the programmes in action and with the active involvement of the Sports Partnerships, we can build a platform to sustain successful programmes in the respective communities and utilise the strength of the group through joined up expertise and resources.

To find out more information on the Burton Albion Community Trust Reach Out sessions please contact Dan brooks by email danbact@burtonalbionfc.couk or by phone 07946538809.

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Albion in Uttoxeter

UTTOXETER’S nearest league club’s charitable arm is ‘casting the net wider’ to find future stars.

Burton Albion Community Trust has upped its presence in town by appointing two new officers dedicated to Uttoxeter.

Emma Preston and Helen Fryer will supplement existing co-ordinator Dean Cotterill as the trust launches several new initiatives.

The Gifted and Talented class will be offered to every school in the Uttoxeter Pyramid schools partnership.

Professional coaches will run sessions and identify young players with above-average ability and help them progress.

Mr Cotterill said: “One of the initiatives we might sign-post gifted players to our player development sessions.

“They’re for youngsters who have a chance of doing very well in football in the future.

“If the club wants to bring more youth players through the ranks, we need to cast the net farther and wider.”

Other sports will be played at the Gifted and Talented sessions, which are funded by the FA.

Another event that will run regularly is the trust’s Female Football Development initiative.

They take place at Picknalls First School on Wednesday evenings and Oldfields Hall Middle School on Friday evenings.

Mr Cotterill said: “The FA have done some research and discovered girls look at football in a different way to boys.

“They are much more interested in what the sport can offer in a social sense, so we aim to make the sessions more fun and casual.”

Parents can get involved at the trust’s forthcoming Healthy Families programme, which will also be delivered from a to-be-confirmed school in town.

East Staffordshire CAB will run a session on healthy eating before the trust gives parents ideas about how to play with their children and provides fun exercises.

Talks are also under way to try to establish a football class for disabled people in Uttoxeter.

Mr Cotterill said: “We have a strong team in Uttoxeter and are becoming more a part of the community.”

More information is available online at

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BACT Team to ride to Amsterdam for Prostate Cancer UK

BURTON Albion Community Trust will be using pedal power to boost a charity after entering a fundraising team in the Football to Amsterdam cycle ride.

Five cyclists will be taking part in the fundraising drive for Prostate Cancer representing the Brewers alongside another 71 Football League clubs.


BACT’s head of community Andy Taylor; community manager Matthew Hancock and health and inclusion manager John Widdowson will be joined by the business operations manager from Burton Co-operative Trust Deb Bacon and Hollie Benton, who is the family and education practitioner from the East Staffordshire’s Children Centre.


They will all be taking part in the ride that starts on Friday, June 3, from Barnsley football club’s Oakwell Stadium.  Here the team, together with representatives from the other Football League clubs, will cycle the 73 miles to the port of Hull.


After riding along the Dearne Valley with its challenging hills, the team will continue the journey across the Humber Bridge and then to the port.


Then it’s time for the teams to relax and jump off the saddle and onto the ferry to Rotterdam where they will refuel for the Saturday. The second day should be easier for the teams as they have a mainly flat 71-mile ride from Rotterdam to the famous Amsterdam Arena.


Their adventure takes them throughout the beautiful Dutch coastline and countryside before arriving at the home of Dutch giants Ajax. Once they have officially finished the race, it’s time for the teams to ditch their bike gear and get ready to hit the town.


Matt Hancock said: “We are looking forward to the challenge, flying the flag for Burton Albion and raising cash for a very good cause.”


Prostate Cancer UK – the official charity partner of the Football League – aims to reach millions of football supporters through engagement activity across football grounds to raise awareness of the disease which now affects one in eight men in the UK – that’s a death rate of 10,000 a year. As well as raising awareness of the disease, the official partnership will help to raise funds so that more men survive it and enjoy a better quality life.


The team are pictured with Brewers first team player and Prostate Cancer UK ambassador Damien McCrory, who gave them some training tips.


If you would like to sponsor the fantastic five then please do on this link:


Burton Albion Community Trust would also like to thank local company Cycling 2000, who will be providing the team with all the biking equipment and clothing.


To discuss the ride or the fundraising events please contact Matt Hancock on 01283 565938 or by email to