Young people are to be taught football skills as well as being given the opportunity to gain FA qualifications as part of a programme aimed at driving down anti-social behaviour launched by Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust.
The Onside programme is being launched by the Trust, the charitable arm of Yeovil Town Football Club, to help develop a safer, stronger and more respectful community.
Initially, it will focus on centre of Yeovil with a view to moving on to target other parts of Somerset suffering with anti-social behaviour issues.
The Trust has secured almost £10,000 in funding from Sport England to launch the initiative which will work with 14-18 year olds in the local area.
Trust manager Sara Bradley said: “We all know that anti-social behaviour is a problem and we hope this will give a different outlet to young people who might otherwise be involved in anti-social behaviour.
“Our coaches will give these young people positive experiences which will not only help develop their football skills and fitness, but give them the opportunity to gain qualifications.
“By doing this, we hope to also benefit the communities within which we live by bringing down anti-social behaviour levels.”
The Yeovil Central area of the town has the highest levels of anti-social behaviour in the Somerset East policing area.
Police Sergeant of the Yeovil One Team, Claire Leonard, said initiatives like Onside can help provide a regular structured programme which will benefit the young people involved.
She said; “Onside is highly supported by the Yeovil One Team as we recognise sport can be a highly motivational and engaging tool to steer young people away from negative behaviour, encourage team spirit and a sense of belonging.
“We believe that any project that aims to help some of the most vulnerable and hard to reach people in our community, developing them to create a safer, stronger and more respectful community is one that should be backed.”
Onside launches on Friday 24th February and the FREE sessions will take place from 7.00pm – 8.00pm on the 3G at Westfield Academy in Yeovil for 14-18 year olds.
For more information, please contact the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust on 01935 706671 or e-mail Sbradley@ytfc.net