Shropshire youngsters have the chance to take their first steps on the football coaching ladder next week thanks to a Junior Leaders Soccer School being run during half term.
Crossbar Coaching Education in Sport will, as usual, be catering for children of primary school age at the popular football, multi-sports, street dance and holiday club courses they hold around the county.
But for the first time youngsters in Years 7 and 8 at secondary school will also have the chance to take part.
The junior leaders soccer schools at Shrewsbury’s London Road Sports Centre and Telford’s Lawley Primary School will provide pupils aged between 11 and 13 with an opportunity to combine playing football with working closely with Crossbar’s staff in organising coaching sessions for younger age groups.
The junior leaders will receive a special -t-shirt to wear throughout the course and will also be presented with a certificate to help them begin to develop a coaching career.
Gavin Cowan, director of Crossbar Coaching Education in Sport, said: “Our soccer schools and holiday courses are usually open only to primary school age groups, but lots of parents have been keen for their children to stay engaged with Crossbar as they still want them to develop through what we do.
“The junior leaders is something we came up with in terms of children being able to develop at the next stage, so Years 7 and 8 pupils will come along in the morning and play football as normal with academy-based sessions.
“Then in the afternoon they will shadow our coaches and be able to work with the younger children, having the chance to put together session plans and see what it’s like to be a coach.
“It’s not an age group we’ve catered for before but it’s an idea designed to keep them engaged with football, which is what they love doing, and to also give them an insight into becoming a coach.
“They will get a certificate at the end of the course and a booklet with a lot of session plans, so they’ll be able to go off and work in junior clubs or within schools.
“It will give them an insight into the world of a coach, how organised you need to be, and what other skills you have to have in terms of meticulous planning and the delivery of sessions.”
The junior leaders course will run alongside the usual soccer schools for boys and girls aged between five and 11 at Shrewsbury’s London Road Sports Centre from next Monday, October 26 to Friday, October 30 (9am-3pm).
A course will also take place at Lawley Primary School in Telford between Monday and Wednesday, with multi-sports held at the venue next Thursday and Friday.
A soccer school will also be held at Broseley C of E Primary School from Monday to Wednesday.
Street dance sessions take place at both the London Road Sports Centre and Telford’s Holinswood Primary School during the same period.
Holiday clubs offering a host of fun activities have been arranged for Shrewsbury’s Greenfields Primary School, Oakmeadow Primary School in Bayston Hill, Pontesbury Primary School, Telford’s Old Park and Woodlands Primary Schools and Moorfield Primary School in Newport.
A kids camp will also run throughout half term at London Road Sports Centre.
Gavin added: “We had a phenomenal summer with record numbers attending and it was an amazing experience to be able to co-ordinate such a massive initiative that went so fantastically well.
“We’re really excited going into half term and it’s always a pleasure to run courses.
“There will be a Halloween theme with plenty of ghosts and ghouls together with lots of new ideas which will be piloted, plenty of new games and competitions. It will be exciting and we’re looking forward to it.”
For more details and prices, which start from £7.50 per day for the holiday clubs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01743) 362368.
Courses run from 9am-3pm with early and late pick ups available for an hour either side for an additional £2.50 each.
Crossbar Coaching Education in Sport are Ofsted registered and they also accept childcare vouchers.