Kids and Community
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A New Community Sports Facility at Creekmoor

Click the image to see the concept proposal

Representatives of Poole Town Football Club, YMCA Bournemouth, and the Gale Foundation Trust CIO recently submitted a concept plan for a community sports village in Creekmoor as part of BCP Council’s Local Plan consultation.

The organisations are now seeking support and investment to enable the delivery of this scheme.

At present, Poole Town Football Club does not have its own space to operate from. In addition to the men’s first team, the club have an Under 19’s side as well as two ladies’ teams who all struggle to find pitches to play and train on due to the severe lack of sports facilities within BCP.

A dedicated space to harness all these teams, as well as the 21 junior teams of Poole Town FC Wessex, would result in a tenfold increase in the good work of the Club, and provide space for increased collaboration with other community organisations.

It's Not Just About Football, It's About Community

As well as a new football ground and training space for Poole Town Football Club, the concept includes increased nursery facilities, a community hub, a multi-use games area, cycle and walking links, a sports centre and sports village comprising of independent sport and recreation providers.

It's About Supporting Families

Poole Town Football Club has already demonstrated the value that this scheme would deliver to the conurbation. It has supported thousands of local families in the past year through its Kids Initiative Community Interest Company (CIC). The CIC exists to involve local children in the fun of football and provide support to those facing physical, emotional, or financial hardship.

This year alone, the Kids Initiative has already run approximately 200 free football coaching sessions for children aged five to 13. The Club runs hour-long classes at three venues a week, as well as providing free-of-charge coaching to schools. Last year Bayside Academy in Turlin Moor benefitted from a six-week long coaching course for a new team that the Kids Initiative helped set-up, and Heatherlands Primary School was able to offer pupils access to an eight-week programme as part of an FA Pilot scheme.

It's About Delivering Quality Care

The Football Club plays an active role in the community and holds the FA’s Accredited Club 3 Star status—the highest community kitemark the FA bestow. The power of football goes far beyond the sport. For children who are struggling, the club provides a physical and mental outlet, and access to a group of trusted, supportive, caring individuals who they grow to listen to and learn from. In addition to free coaching, Poole Town Football Club also facilitates coach and player attendance at several early intervention courses held in Poole secondary schools during the year. As well as offering time and expertise, the Kids Initiative has also donated £3,000 towards the cost of the courses over the past 12 months.

It's About Helping More Local Schools And Organisations

Gareth Sherwood, CEO of YMCA Bournemouth, has commented on the work of the Kids Initiative saying:

“All the evidence suggests that the more we invest in the development of children and young people, the better our society will be in the long term. I am so grateful to the Club for the ongoing, longstanding, and purposeful work it is doing with children and families in the community.”

Poole Town Football Club’s work with schools also enables children to benefit from free match tickets, and access to new and reconditioned kit and equipment.

Hillbourne Primary School, situated between Creekmoor and Broadstone, is a recent beneficiary of Poole Town Football Club’s support. The Club supplied the school with 20 pairs of football boots, school award tickets, and free family vouchers to Poole Town matches, encouraging pupils to further engage in football as a healthy outlet. The Club is also delighted to be providing the coaching for the school’s after-school football sessions.

Laura Bennett, head teacher at Hillbourne Primary School, said:

“Poole Town Football Club has enabled us to offer our children so many more opportunities than they’d usually have access to. The response from our pupils has been outstanding, and we’ve seen huge benefits on an individual and school-wide level.

“Richard and the team have provided a direction for the school when it comes to getting more pupils involved in sports. Their eagerness to work with the community is amazing and we’re incredibly thankful for the generous support. We look forward to developing our relationship with the club even further next term.”

It's About Building A Better Future

The future of the Creekmoor scheme is reliant on support from key stakeholders including BCP Council. First, the land must be allocated for community benefit in the pending BCP Local Plan to enable the delivery of this scheme. Representations and comments made on the Draft Plan are due to be made public by BCP at the end of June 2024.

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