Keepmoat scores with Oldham Athletic Kicks Project
Published by Hazel Rycroft for Keepmoat in Communities and also in Housing
Young people from the session with Oldham Athletic Community Trust coaches Kyle Riley (L) and Rob Messina (R) and Keepmoat Partnerships Project Manager, Annette Dooley (C).
Youngsters in Derker are now getting teenage kicks on a football field every Friday night thanks to a series of community kickabouts run by the Oldham Athletic Community Trust.
More than 35 kids are now regularly enjoying the free football sessions at Stoneleigh Park thanks to community funding from housebuilder and regeneration-specialist Keepmoat.
The sessions have been arranged to cut anti-social behaviour in Oldham on Friday night by giving budding Korey Smith’s the chance to hit the back of the net with a professionally organised kickabout every week.
Former Latics youth and reserve team striker Kyle Riley, 19, and Oldham Athletic’s Community Coach Rob Messina deliver the weekly event.
The sessions – initially set-up by the Oldham Athletic Community Trust with the help of St James councillors Cath Ball and Nigel Newton – have proven incredibly popular with local kids.
On one Friday night 48 children pulled on their soccer shirts to turn up for a game.
When Keepmoat discovered how much the local kids loved their football the housebuilder stepped in to make sure the kickabouts could continue into extra time by funding it for future weeks.
Waterhead Academy pupil Tyler Vickers, 11, of Oban Avenue, said: “I have really enjoyed the sessions, I have learnt to play in a team and I have got better at football too.
“It is great to have something fun and positive to do close to home on a Friday night. I really look forward to Friday nights now as I know I am going to play football with Oldham Athletic.”
Keepmoat is currently constructing 363 homes in Oldham helping to regenerate three areas of the town with affordable high-quality housing.
The housebuilder is constructing 109 homes at Suthers Court, off Edward Street, 165 homes at Churchill Gardens in Derker and 89 homes at Rosary Gardens in Fitton Hill.
David Wroe, new build managing director for Keepmoat, said: “We were delighted to help fund the Oldham Athletic Kicks sessions in Derker, as it gives youngsters in Oldham an amazing chance to meet and pick up tips from top Latics coaches. Youngsters in Derker have proved they really enjoy these sessions so it’s great to give them something positive to do in their own community on a Friday night.”
Oldham Athletic Community Trust Participation Manager, Martin Vose, said: “It’s so important for the club to get out in the community and supports grass roots football.
“Friday night is the start of the weekend and we wanted to help these children get their weekend off on the right foot with a fantastic game of football.
“A properly organised game of football will help these youngsters to improve their fitness, improve their skills, improve their self-esteem and help them let off steam on a Friday.”
The free football sessions are held at Stoneleigh Park every Friday from 6pm to 8pm.
The sessions are available for youngsters aged from 11 to 18.