The first point of engagement to the Football for Life programme is for the 7 -12 year olds and is an extension of the first stage of our three stage football programme. This session responds to a need to establish good habits at an early age and for increased attention to the social and emotional needs of children making the transition from primary to secondary school.
Each session builds on the previous one, and provides a rolling programme of progression from basic technical work to more complex drills and exercises. Every session ends with fun Round Robin Football matches. All children are encouraged to be on time and wear the appropriate kit. The first hour of the session is spent in the class room participating in problem solving games, reflecting on previous weeks, taking part in test or receiving a presentation from a visitor. The high staff child ratio (on average 1:4) boosted by the presence of 2 peer mentors, enables children who are in the process of transition from primary to secondary school to get individual attention, discuss issues with the staff and be given individual support plans if needed.
The first stage also provides open access football sessions twice a week for 11 -21 year olds. These first stage sessions act as a magnet to engage young people and build positive relationships building a foundation for long term youth work. The Football sessions offer informal coaching through Round-Robin football matches leading to improved football skills, teamwork, discipline, fitness and improved behaviour. This is one of the routes young people take to enter CYP’s wider programme which offers opportunities to participate in new activities, mentoring and user led projects providing a platform for informal learning and social education.
The CYP’s Tuesday and Thursday sessions are the essential first step to progress to stages 2 and 3 of CYP’s progressive football programme (stage 2 playing in CYP football teams at local tournaments, step 3 introductions to local clubs, semi-professional clubs and professional academies).