My husband and I have just returned from our annual week’s holiday in Madeira. As we landed at Christiano Ronaldo Airport and then passed the CR7 hotel I mused that, love him or hate him, it’s impossible not to be struck by the influence of the football success of Christiano Ronaldo on his home town, and the contribution his success has made to economic regeneration on the island.
Rumours were also circulating whilst we were there that two other wonderful restaurants in the city have recently been purchased by another well-known Portuguese footballer – investing in the economy of the island. I mention this because it is often all too easy to focus on the negative impacts of the highly commercialised world of top level football, and to ignore the significant economic and social benefits which the game and those involved in are ploughing back in to the communities in which they are rooted.
Our Foundation aspires to do this in a very small way – influencing commissioners and grant funders to make social investment in projects in the area, and then motivating and inspiring local people to get active in those projects and thereby become positive contributors to their communities.
Alongside such positive social outcomes, the Foundation, the Football Club and its wider operation of course is a major contributor to the local economy – providing direct employment as well as generating significant wider visitor spend in the area as a result of the Football Club’s participation in international competitions.
So … as I climb back off my soap box, I will over the next few weeks aim to provide an insight in to the various strands of the Foundation’s activities, all of which contribute to our charitable aims of increasing access to physical activity opportunities for all members of the local community regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or ability.
Our work is divided in to the following areas:
– Healthy Lifestyles, particularly focusing on the health and social benefits of physical activity for older people, and young people or adults with additional needs;
– Increasing football participation, particularly by girls, older people and people with additional needs, with the resultant health and social benefits
– Youth and Community Engagement, particularly focusing on increasing community access to physical activity opportunities; youth club and youth outreach activities in local villages and at the Football Club, together with provision for young people with additional needs
– Schools, particularly focusing on teacher CPD provision and after school and breakfast club provision
– Events. These take place throughout the year and are a showcase for all the Foundation’s activities. Those in which we are involved in September are the Memory Walk Oswestry 2018 and Oswestry Community Games
I look forwarding to giving more detail on each of the above as the season progresses. In the meantime, please encourage any young people you know who might like to have a go at golf to go along to Mile End Golf Club on a Wednesday evening, where we will be working with the Golf Club until and including October half term to offer a range of free ‘golf themed’ activities, as well as offering those attending opportunities to be tutored by a golf professional – young people just need to be aged between 10 and 16 years to be eligible to attend. For further information email: Shelly.firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead image: Spot The Dog at TNS In The Park 2018.