Hopwood Hall College sports students help grow grassroots football
Date published: 13 December 2017
Aaron Clegg and Matthew Crane (right) at a session at St Mary's R C Primary School in Middleton
Sports students from Hopwood Hall College have been giving up their time to help support grassroots football at a local level.
The group have been running classes with Hopwood’s Football Development Officer, Dimitrios Mitsis, in primary schools to hone in their own coaching skills whilst working towards coaching qualifications, as well as to promote football among young children.
With child obesity rates on the rise and a perceived lack of physical activity from the ‘PlayStation Generation’, for the children involved the sessions act as a gateway to not just football, but to physical exercise and socialising through sport too.
With some local areas suffering from varying levels of deprivation, the training scheme provides inclusive opportunities for children who can not afford to join clubs; such as the Saturday clubs the college also runs.
Aaron Clegg, who studies a Foundation Degree in Sports Development at Hopwood Hall, said: “Coaching primary school children is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. The experience I have picked up will be really valuable for my future and will give me confidence when I enter coaching as a career.
“During this half term, I feel that I have gained more experience than I have doing anything else. At the same time, I feel much more confident to manage groups and deal with challenging behaviours. I’m just looking forward to helping out next term now, as well as undertaking future coaching qualifications after that.”