Football coaching gives children a sporting chance

Football coaching gives children a sporting chance

Michael Owens

Football coaching gives children a sporting chance

Football enthusiasts have taken on a coaching role to offer youngsters in North Maidenhead and Laggan Field a chance to get into sport and away from anti-social behaviour.

The group of friends from Maidenhead Sports and Social Club began training sessions for children aged seven to 11 in November.

They had found it difficult to get their own children into other clubs.

"One or two of them tried to get [their children] in," said Fasil Aziz.

"Some are very selective, it was kind of impossible for them to get into a football club."

The father-of-two said the group was also started because of the amount of children they had seen without anything to do at weekends.

He added none of them spent their days playing sports in the park like he did with his former Desborough School friends.

North Maidenhead Cricket Club gave them permission to use their pitches, so the boys finally had somewhere to play.

"There's always children hanging around who haven't got anything to do so we thought we'd make this kind of activity available to them," said the 36-year-old.

"A lot of disruptive kids have turned up and they are quite disciplined now.

"Overall, it's definitely going to help around the area if we can give them something to do."

The group started in November and grew quickly through word of mouth to attract about 30 children every Saturday.

The group charges £1 per session, which is put towards buying equipment.

The team was given a boost last month when it received a grant from the Royal Borough.

It received enough votes in the authority's neighbourhood budget scheme to win £2,000.

The cash will be used to buy equipment towards taking the group one step further and enter them into leagues with other children this year. 

Another volunteer, Hassan Farooq said, "A big thank you to neighbourhood budgets for supporting us and giving us the opportunity to continue serving the community.”

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