Hundreds of young North Tyneside footballers have got their sights set on new goals thanks to support from a regional employer.
Forest Hall Young People’s Club in East Palmersville hosts matches for more than 50 football teams from Forest Hall Football Club’s junior and senior sides, as well as the Forest Hall Dazzlers disability teams.
The goalposts provided by the club for matches and training sessions had begun to show serious signs of wear and tear after many years of use, and were also needing to be upgraded to comply with new Football Association standards.
The cost of the new seven and 11-a-side goals, which are on wheels to make them easier to move, was beyond what the Club could afford, and they were faced with having to limit the number of teams that could use them in order to keep them in service for as long as possible.
But now, thanks to a £4,000 grant from the Banks Group’s Banks Community Fund, two new sets of goalposts have been brought in in time for the new season.
And as well as being in premium condition, they will also significantly reduce the amount of time that players and parents need to spend to set them up and take them down before and after matches.
Forest Hall Young Peoples Club is a Charter Standard Community Football Club run almost entirely by a team of dedicated volunteers, and is also home to a number of other sporting and community activities, including the Forest Hall Boxing Club, zumba classes and private functions.
The Club management committee is now hoping that the better equipment will encourage even more young people to try out for its various football teams.
Phil Embleton, coach at Forest Hall Young Peoples Club, says: “Our existing goals had to be put together and taken apart every time they were used, and it usually takes a team of parents and players about half an hour to get each one ready for use.
“With so much use, it’s wholly understandable that the goals were showing signs of their age, but the need to bring them up to new FA standards was creating a real problem for us before the Banks Group stepped in to help out.
“With the new goals being on wheels, it’s very easy for one or two people to manoeuvre them into place and it’s saving us lots of time and effort as a result.
“Our aim is to maximise participation in sport and get as many local people involved with our teams as we can, and experience tells that the better the equipment we can offer, the more likely it is that players will want to turn out for our teams.”
Chris Kelsey, communications manager at the Banks Group, adds: “The Banks Community Fund is designed to improve the facilities available to people living in the areas in which we’re working, and this is a great example of how funding from it is achieving just that for the Forest Hall footballers.”
The Banks Community Fund provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks Group projects.
Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 to check if their group or project is eligible.