Children in nurseries across the Stirling area have been taking part in fun football sessions delivered by coaches from Stirling Albion FC.
The programme is being delivered to nine nurseries, with over 400 young children enjoying the sessions, and is being funded through the SPFL Trust Scottish Communities League Cup Fund, supported by the Scottish Government.
The sessions cover a number of different football skills being taught – warm-ups, fun games and relays – and also help to develop basic motor skills such as jumping and balance.
The sessions are being delivered to the nurseries over a four-week block with Dunblane (pictured), Newton, Riverside and Cowie nurseries taking part during the first block, followed by Borestone, Plean, Bridge of Allan, Cambusbarron and St Ninians in the second.
The programme has also been used to measure the improvements that these sessions can have on some of the skills that are practiced. The children’s jumping ability was measured during block one and kicking skills during block two, with measurements being taken in week one with the children’s current ability, and week four after receiving the sessions and practicing the skills.
SAFC Community Engagement Manager Andy Todd said: “The opportunity to run this programme has been fantastic thanks to the funding available through the SPFL Trust Scottish Communities League Cup Fund.
“It has been the largest programme we have done so far and the children have been loving the sessions. It is important to get children involved in football as early as possible and to develop their football and motor skills at a young age.
“The feedback from the children and nursery staff has been excellent and hopefully this, along with the data we have collected from the sessions, will give us the opportunity to gain additional funding next year to run the programme again.”
Stirling Albion FC will be running mini kickers classes for 3-4 year olds in partnership with Active Stirling from August onwards.
There are also sessions taking place during week seven of the summer holidays.