It has been a very challenging year for the Community Engagement Team at Stirling Albion. At the beginning of 2020 we set ourselves big goals for the year. These goals included a full schedule of events, integration with other clubs and sports, working with health care providers, all designed to help the local community and further the community spirit that the club has. Unfortunately, we all know how 2020 panned out, and this halted most of our progress.
Despite these challenges, we were still able to contribute something to the community, and I would highlight our “Festive Friends” as being a great example of the impact the club can have on the community. During this time, as mentioned in a previous “Chairman’s Update”, we have also set the groundwork for the Stirling Albion Foundation, which has taken many months of work.
Now that there is light at the end of the tunnel, I am pleased to say that we are slowly getting back on track with our Community Activities, as and when restrictions allow us. In the immediate future, we have plans to host a three-day football camp over the Easter Holidays, for 5-11 year olds. The dates for this will be the 14th – 16th April and will be 8.30 a.m. – 3.00 p.m. We are in the process of finalising the details, however, the location will be in Stirling.
Following on from this, we are re-launching our community classes from the 26th April for 5&6, 7&8 and 9-11 year olds. These will initially be on a Monday & Friday evening and a Saturday morning. As and when we are able to, and if there is appetite for this, then we plan to increase the number of sessions and open up to different age groups. At the moment we are opening the Forthbank, Kings Park and Dunblane sessions, and plan to increase the number of locations as restrictions are lifted.
Obviously, the camp and classes are aimed at our younger Binos, however, we are looking to provide a full programme for all age groups. These include, but not limited to “Baby Binos” – an opportunity for new Mums and Dads to attend and introduce their child to football and help the child with sensory development etc. For adults, we are launching “Drop In Football” sessions. A lot of us have struggled with lockdown life, a lot of us struggled before that also, as with many sports football is a great way to relieve some of the burdens that life throws at us, the drop-in sessions are designed for those who are finding things difficult for one reason or another. Maybe you want to talk to someone, maybe you don’t – maybe you just want to play football for an hour or so and forget about things.
Lastly, through working closely with the Junior Academy, we aim by 2022, to have a full programme that allows access to football for people of all ages. Baby Binos, Young Reds, U5-U20s, Amateur Team Drop-in Sessions, Futsal, 5s/7s leagues, over 35s, walking football, disability football, blind football etc.
I am aware this is very much a whistle stop tour of the Community Engagement Activities, however, please note that we are always looking for new ideas and new partners to work with. If you have any ideas, thoughts, concerns or would like to know more about all the activities we do, then I would invite you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stirling Albion Community Engagement Director