Primary Schools milestone achieved

The Killie Community are celebrating achieving a significant milestone in the last academic year.

As this school year comes to a close, The Killie Community have delivered their programmes with pupils in every Primary School across East Ayrshire.

The Community team deliver programmes that use the power of football to inspire and educate young people across Ayrshire. #FootballForAll ensures every young person enjoys fun, inclusive access to football.

In partnership with Active Schools East Ayrshire, the charity delivered 202 #FootballForAll sessions to 1,478 young people (826 boys and 652 girls) across every primary school in the local authority.

Of the total numbers of young people who engaged with the programme over 6-week blocks, 44% were girls. This is encouraging signs for the support of the football club as a whole, commented Daryl Knapp, Programmes Manager:

“The Football For All project we deliver is more than just football, as it gives young people a chance at something they love with no barriers in the way.

 “The costs of playing organised sport nowadays is sadly prohibiting entire communities from enjoying the game. Meanwhile we have at least 30 areas which we visit that fall within the 10 per cent most deprived in Scotland.

 “We’re delighted to have been able to organise it so that every school has been able to meet and enjoy playing with Killie coaches this year.

“The reality is that the further from the stadium we go, the likelihood there will be more young people who have not been fortunate enough to visit a stadium before increases.

 “It’s important to us that we provide the same experience for young people in schools in New Cumnock, Bellsbank, Patna, as we do for schools within walking distance of our hub at Rugby Park.

Head of Education, Linda McAulay-Griffiths, said:

“Given the huge importance of physical activity on social, physical and mental health of our young people and families, I would like to thank The Killie Community wholeheartedly for the provision of football sessions to every primary school in East Ayrshire Council.

“These sessions have been thoroughly enjoyed by our young people and are wholly inclusive of all. There is no doubt that these sessions will inspire many to take up the beautiful game at some stage in their lives, recreationally or professionally.

“I would also like to thank The Killie Community for the provision of over 1,000 free tickets for families to be able to go to games and enjoy a great day out in the local community with our local team. For some of our young people, this has been their first experience of a match in a stadium, and a real day to remember.

“We look forward to continuing our association with The Killie Community in the future across our schools and thank them profoundly for the ongoing support.”

Chief Executive Officer at East Ayrshire Council, Eddie Fraser commented:

“A huge thanks to The Killie Community coaches for the incredible opportunities they have given to so many of our young people this year. I’m delighted that the team have been able to visit every one of our primary schools to deliver #FootballForAll, with nearly 1,500 children taking part. It’s also great to see over 1,000 young people having the opportunity to attend their first ever football match, with free family tickets helping to build the next generation of Killie fans.

“Sport and physical activity helps children to thrive and the benefits for young people, their families and the community can be long-lasting. It’s brilliant to see The Killie Community inspiring our young people to be active, have fun and enjoy sport.”

 Active Schools & Sports Development Manager, Greg Gallagher said:

“Kilmarnock Football Club through The Killie Community have been working with the Primary Schools across East Ayrshire connecting the club to the community through their ‘Football For All’ programme.

“Sport has the power to engage everyone regardless of age, gender or ability and The Killie Community have been working in partnership with East Ayrshire Active Schools towards empowering our young people supporting to address health issues, social participation, attainment and creating positive community role models. This partnership has seen The Killie Community deliver within every Primary School in East Ayrshire, offering opportunities for participation and specialised coaching while fostering a fun environment.

“Over 1,000 pupils were engaged by The Killie Community during the programme who as well as participating in the football programme also received free family tickets to a Killie game at Rugby Park. Creating memorable experiences that a number of pupils don’t usually get the chance to participate in regularly due to a range of factors such as rurality and finances.”