The DSActive football programme at Longfleet Youth FC has been running for just over one year now and what a fantastic year it has been! The programme has developed well with the help of over 25 volunteers who give up their time freely to help coach and facilitate the sessions. There are three teams (Lions, Cubs and Tigers), with an average of 25 players from ages 4 to 23 attending regular monthly training sessions with qualified coaches.
The benefits for players and parents are clear to see.
Players show an improved mood-state and an increase of self-esteem and are enjoying new experiences and making new friends etc. They are also getting some exercise and learning new football skills. Parents get the chance to meet other parents, share stories and make new friends, whilst watching their child participate in their football training sessions.
The DSActive players were fortunate enough to be invited to be Playmakers at the Grand Opening of the new 3G Pitch at Dorset County FA. Martin Glenn CEO of The FA cut the ribbon to officially open the new 3G ATP facility and said: “The evening concluded with a commemorative game in which teams from Lyme Regis FC and Sturminster Newton United FC competed for The Marke Frowde Memorial Trophy. Leading the teams on to the field of play were participants from the Dorset DSActive programme that were assigned the important role of ‘Play Makers’ for the official opening of the pitch.”
Longfleet Youth FC have had some excellent feedback from parents whose children are part of the programme:
“My Son really looks forward to going to football, he is learning so much and it is helping with his confidence. Everyone at Longfleet Youth FC has made us all so welcome and they have an amazing relationship with our kids which brings out the best in them.” – Dawn (Parent of Oliver – Tigers Team)
“I take my 5 yr old daughter along to Longfleet Youth FC DSActive football sessions and we absolutely love attending once a month. From the moment we arrive I feel completely at ease and comfortable and we are always greeted by enthusiastic staff who you can see absolute love teaching the children football skills. These sessions have helped my daughter’s development in all areas. It helps her keep physically active, improve social skills, balance & co-ordination, listening & communication and overall is so much fun. My daughter has made lots of friends and I have too had the opportunity to meet other parents with children who have Down Syndrome. We can’t thank Longfleet Youth FC enough for their time and effort they have put in ensuring these sessions are kept going! We love it.” – Liz (Parent of Clara – Cubs Team)
We look forward to seeing the Longfeet Youth FC project develop further over the coming year, with hopefully the addition of more regular training sessions for the players.