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Kick-start for future football stars
8:30am Thursday 6th September 2012 in News
BUDDING young footballers are getting the chance to kick-start their sporting careers with special visits to Darlington Football Club.
Since becoming part of a Community Interest Company (CIC), Darlington Football Club has launched their Community Schools Programme which will see the club working with the local community and schools in the area.
The programme invites school pupils to visit Heritage Park on each home game for a match day experience, where they will meet the players before the game, get a tour of the stadium, take part in a half time game, meet the mascots and form the guard of honour tunnel as the players enter the pitch.
To prepare them for their big day, the young hopefuls will be trained by coaches from the Martin Gray Football Academy on the morning of their trip.
Oakley Cross Primary School, in West Auckland, will be the first school to take part in the match day experience at Darlington FC’s home game against Consett this Saturday.
Headteacher Judith Hornsby said: “As a school we are thrilled with the opportunity to take part in this brand new and exciting community programme at Darlington Football Club.”
Each child who completes the match day experience will also become a DFC Young Ambassador and be invited to attend “ask the manager and chairman” forums throughout the season.
Quakers manager, Martin Gray, said: “My whole football academy is based around working with children in their schools and it’s great that the football club is extending this idea by inviting school children and their teachers to visit Heritage Park to share a fabulous match day experience.”
Once the pupils have completed their visits they will write reports on their experience, with the best writer of the season invited to spend a day on The Northern Echo sportsdesk.
Denis Pinnegar, chairman of Darlington 1883, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have the Community Schools Programme in place so soon and are really looking forward to seeing the schools at the game enjoying football in the action-packed manner Darlington Football Club is playing.
“These young people are tomorrow’s fans in many cases and some may be tomorrow’s players."