In 2016, Altrincham FC Community Sports had a busy and eventful year through work in schools, local community events and within the Community Sports Hall. This year saw us in six different primary schools, providing sports coaching to over 500 children on a weekly basis. We also provided up to 27.75 hours of adult fitness sessions on a weekly basis, including: yoga, gentle exercise, walking football and disability football.

Community Sports Hall

After a successful first year since opening in 2015, the CSH has seen an increasing rise in usage and attendance figures. Three new user groups have been added to the timetable on a weekly basis offering adult fitness, toddler sessions and a community group. We have also added additional adult fitness, disability football, walking football and Alty Mini Kickers sessions.

Friday evenings and weekends have been hired out throughout the year for birthdays, weddings, christenings, funerals, anniversaries, council events, open days and much more. The added exposure through events such as these has been clear to see through repeat bookings and new/returning fans to AFC home match days.

A large proportion of the community work is part-funded through The National League Trust, which allows us to provide a wider range of activities. Since the hall opened two years ago, we can confidently say there are activities for all ages and abilities. The most exciting project of the year was successfully receiving a Sportivate grant to fund a new weekly disability football session in November and December. This session has seen four participants attending regularly and will continue into the new year with the aim to provide other sports/exercise sessions.

Children’s Activities

Alty Mini Kickers was another success this year, with an average of 70-80 players attending each week, spread over five sessions. We have improved links with Altrincham FC Junior boys and girls teams, to promote a pathway for when children reach aged 5/6 and want to continue with football within the club.

This Summer saw a new record of four holiday fun weeks on offer, totalling ten across the year. Multi-sports and football weeks were mainly on offer to approximately 800 local children, however, during the Summer we included some unique, exciting activity days. Some of the children enjoyed days out at Old Trafford, Etihad Stadium, National Football Museum, Silverblades Ice Rink, Stamford Park, Altrincham Leisure Centre and Altrincham Golf Club.

Schools

Altrincham FC Community Sports have been present in six schools on a regular basis this year: Stamford Park Juniors, Stamford Park Infants, Cloverlea, St Vincents, Willows and Park Road. Coaches provide sports coaching as part of curriculum cover, lunchtime/breakfast clubs and after school clubs to over 500 children a week.

We held our first ever primary school tournaments this year, the first being at Altrincham FC in May, as years 3&4 got the opportunity to play at the J.Davidson Stadium. The second tournament was held at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys in December for years 5&6. Both tournaments will continue to be an annual event now for Altrincham FC Community Sports, with the aim to grow bigger and include more schools each time.

This year we expanded our schools work to include more range of activities, as we saw over 200 local students from Stamford Park Infants and Juniors visit the stadium for guided tours and to learn more about Altrincham FC’s history. Coaches also went out to Willows Primary School as part of their Summer sports week, with players Sam Heathcote (AFC) and Rory Fallon (FC United of Manchester) delivering healthy advice talks and football sessions to the whole school over the course of a day.

Events

Altrincham FC Community staff participated in the annual Altrincham Festival, Children’s Adventure Farm open day, Wythenshawe Games and Timperley Fair in the Summer. The Altrincham Festival parade was the highlight as we aimed to promote Senior Exercise, Walking Football and Gentle Yoga sessions. Our Walking Football group participated in the FA People’s Cup for the first time this year as interest has soared, now over 20 players a week partake in the two sessions we run.

For the first time, we held a Christmas Pantomime, Halloween party and a ladies cocktail making evening. Altrincham FC staff and volunteers also ran in the Manchester 10k this Summer, raising approximately £2000 towards the Community Sports Co.

Altrincham FC Community Sports Hall has been host to more local charity fundraising evenings, working alongside: CRY Heart Screening, Harry’s Trust, Dogs4Rescue, Brooklands Dragons, Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, AFC Juniors and Children’s Adventure Farm. We attended awards evenings, coming runner-up in the Cheshire FA Awards (Development Programme of the Year) and Trafford Sport Awards (Club of the Year).

At the Altrincham Chamber of Commerce awards in November, Altrincham FC Community Sports won ‘Charity Of The Year’, after coming runner up in 2014, highlighting the improvement and success gained over twelve months. As we approach the new year, our focus turns to 2017 and increasing participation levels across all activities we run in the Community Sports Hall. We will be holding fundraising events, partaking in more local community events and looking to forge better links with other organisations and charity groups. We also hope to offer additional children’s holiday fun weeks and increase the amount of schools we provide coaching to, encouraging children to lead healthy and active lifestyles through sport.

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