A three year award was made towards the cost of establishing a street Futsal project in Angus based on the model Showcase the Street have successfully established using dance (previously funded by the Trust). Chairman, Fergus Storrier, tells us the story so far.
What's happened so far with your project?
Our project co-ordinator has rolled out the Futsal programme in Monifieth, Forfar, Brechin and Arbroath to date. These run at hired local school halls and attract weekly numbers of 160 to 190 children aged from 4-16. We also worked with local schools and Police Scotland to identify disengaged young people and specific areas with high youth crime rates. We have had excellent attendance and feedback, most notably from a local Community Officer in Monifieth who spoke of crime problems from an identified group of young males completely coming to an end once they joined the programme.
What's still to come?
We are looking to build on our work with disengaged young people and expand the use of Futsal to support employability skills. We would also like to expand the work we do in rural areas. Angus suffers from poor public transport links and many children are given little opportunity to participate in sport. Football, like dance, is a universal language and we want to use it as a tool to enhance activity locally.
What tips would you give to other organisations looking to do this kind of work?
Don't run things blindly. It is important to create a legacy that is not just about funding and there must be a balance so that when you exit funding you can still continue to operate. It is also important to ask for help wherever possible. We contacted huge Premiership clubs like Everton and Newcastle, and while many might think they'd get nowhere with organisations like that, they actually have fantastic learning suites that we were able to use and learn from.