CLEVELAND Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Steve Turner has kicked off a year’s funding to support a junior football team in East Cleveland.
Steve attended Saltburn Athletic Juniors Football Club’s tournament gala weekend with invited teams from across the north east.
It was the first time in three years that the tournament had taken place. The tournament included teams of teams of Under-nines, Under-12s, Under-14s, Under-15s and Under-16s
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has just given Saltburn Athletic Junior FC a £7,244 grant.
Funding will pay for additional kit, equipment and facilities. That will improve the club’s overall offer to seven to 17-year-olds in Saltburn, Brotton, Skelton, North Skelton, Loftus, Carlin How, Marske and New Marske.
It has also allowed the North Riding FA club to set up three new teams. They are aimed at the Under-Sevens, Under-eights and Saturday Tots for four to five year olds.
The grant will enable young footballers to take part in year-round training, as it will cover the cost of hiring indoor training facilities during the winter.
In addition, the grant will support volunteers looking to join Saltburn Athletic Juniors FC as coaches. It will help them to train towards FA Level 1 coaching badges. That, in turn, will support and promote grassroots football in East Cleveland.
Combating antisocial behaviour
Cleveland PCC Steve Turner said: “Giving grants to organisations offering young people positive activities in their own communities is part of my longer-term strategy to combat crime and antisocial behaviour.
“I believe organised sport can help young people find a purpose – and that’s a vital tool in combatting antisocial – and other forms of criminal – behaviour.”
Steve is National Chair of the Violence Reduction Unit’s Sport, Youth and Serious Violence Prevention Board. It aims to show how sport can play a part in preventing crime.
Saltburn Athletic Junior FC plans to give everyone the chance to take part. As a result, it plans to help families, who are struggling financially, to pay monthly subs.
Rick Day, Saltburn Athletic Junior FC’s Welfare Officer, said: “We aim to give the opportunity to all children of all abilities to participate in and enjoy their football, developing new friendships and themselves along the way.
“We look to progress each child to become the best player they can be in a safe pressure free environment.”
The need to provide more positive activities for young people in East Cleveland was recently brought home to the club when its communal area was vandalised and used for fly tipping.
The club now plans to clean up the communal area with some of the grant going towards repairs to fencing.
It hopes providing more footballing facilities will give youth a focus and curb vandalism and antisocial behaviour in East Cleveland.