180 football mad 5 – 10 year olds from across the region have been learning to play football the Stanley Matthews way, thanks to The Co-operative and Stoke City FC. The fun coaching initiative took place at Clayton Wood, Stoke City’s Training Ground this weekend (22nd June 2013).
The children were treated to a special skills session delivered by Stoke City’s FA qualified community coaches followed by a guided behind the scenes tour to experience firsthand the facilities that are put to use during the season by the Stoke City playing squad and Academy players. To round off this unique experience, each child received a certificate and goody bag to take home.
Aileen Walters, The Co-operative’s Sponsorship Manager says: “The Co-operative, Stoke City and The Sir Stanley Matthews Foundation recognise the importance of football as the national sport and the role it can play in helping children live more active and healthy lifestyles at the heart of their own local communities.
“This initiative is focused on providing children with an opportunity to enjoy physical activity, learn football skills and have fun playing the game.”
Stoke City Community Trust’s partner, The Sir Stanley Matthews Foundation, also helped to deliver the event. The Foundation was established in October 2000 with the aim of providing opportunities for youngsters to develop their sporting skills and discipline. Sir Stanley Matthews was one of the most influential English football players of all time. He became affectionately known as the ‘Wizard of Dribble’ due to his talent, skill and ability on the football field.
Jean Gough of The Stanley Matthews Foundation added: “These sessions have been a fantastic opportunity to encourage youngsters to enjoy football with their friends and to perhaps recapture some of the Stanley Mathews’ magic!”