Fylde children celebrate the return of train like a pro

AFC Fylde Community Foundation has brought back its successful ‘Train Like A Pro’ football development programme to provide children from the region with the exclusive opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a professional athlete.

This February half term, 40 youngsters from Staining Juniors FC were put through their paces in a variety of physical training exercises and classroom based activities to improve their health, wellbeing, confidence and general life skills.

Hosted entirely at Mill Farm Sports Village, the children had access to AFC Fylde’s professional training facilities, including the use of 3G football pitches, with sessions led by the Foundation’s professional coaching staff and apprentice, Jordan Killgallen.

All attendees received a tour of the club’s state-of-the-art 6,000-seater stadium, and tickets to attend the home game against Leyton Orient on Saturday 17th February.

First launched in 2016, over 400 school children have participated in the programme, which couples practical football coaching with workshops on respect, confidence, diet and nutrition.

Tom Hutton, director of community development at the AFC Fylde Community Foundation, said: “Over the last two years, the programme has made a positive impact on the individuals that have taken part.

“The team at the Foundation work hard to ensure the daily sessions are engaging and educational, with the participants from Staining Juniors FC saying how much they enjoyed their experience.

“Without the support and donations from Cuadrilla and Spirit Energy, the Foundation would simply not have the funds to bring back this fantastic programme and so on behalf of everyone involved, I’d like to extend my thanks to them.”

The ‘Train Like A Pro’ programme was developed in partnership with Cuadrilla, with the aim of providing equal and inclusive access to sports and enrichment programmes to children from all backgrounds.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, commented: “We are proud of our ongoing relationship with the AFC Fylde Community Foundation and other local partners, which enables us to give young people, who may not normally have the opportunity, the chance to take part in such a rewarding programme.

“We are working closely with Tom and the team to deliver a fantastic package of physical training and learning opportunities for young people in the local area.”

For more information about the support available via AFC Fylde Community Foundation or to find out more about the employment opportunities available, visit www.afcfyldefoundation.co.uk, follow on Twitter @afcfct or call Tom Hutton on 01253 677420.

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