HATTERSLEY will be the centre of new ways of getting more people out, about and on to the football pitch after a six-figure grant boost.
Active Tameside has received £277,446 of Sport England and National Lottery cash – one of only 13 schemes across England – to boost activity levels within the community through sessions delivered by the Football Foundation.
And as Manchester United’s Anthony Elanga, who was spotted at the Ken Ward Centre and brought on by Hattersley FC, makes the next strides in his professional career, the beautiful game is seen as a way of upping exercise.
Thanks to the grant, which is set to fund a five-year project, Active Tameside’s plans targeting two groups – women and families aged 16 to 24 and men aged 35-plus who enjoy watching football but do not play it – are set to come in from January.
The number of people the project has the potential to reach through sessions such as Walking Football or Football for Fitness has been identified.
Talking Football Workshops – where people are encouraged to chat and reminisce about the game they love to watch to inspire them to play and take part – will also be launched soon, meaning up to five sessions a week.
New project manager Catherine Hall will lead a consortium of healthcare professionals, community development workers, Active Tameside and community champions to monitor the programme’s success.
Andy Dwyer, Active Tameside’s Head of Sport and Physical Activity, said: “Through the Sport England Active Lives survey, we have some wards in Tameside where certain age groups are inactive and not meeting the recommended Public Health guidelines for physical activity.
“We have carried out some in depth community engagement with local residents and key stakeholders which has shaped a delivery plan within the community to engage with our target groups.
“We are now looking forward to starting delivery to get more people more active through football and physical activity related sessions along with the up-skilling of volunteers from within the community.”
Robert Sullivan, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This grant award to Active Tameside is fantastic news for the local community in Hattersley.
“Football is a game for everyone – regardless of their background – and it’s only right that people across all walks of life are able to play the nation’s favourite game.
“Over the past 21 years, we have been working with local authorities up and down the country to ensure everyone has access to high quality pitches.
“Thanks to Sport England National Lottery Investment, this new project will help to transform people’s lives by developing the sport and related activities in Hattersley, unlocking the many benefits of football for the community.”