BODDIE’S THE BOY!
Garioch Football and Community Partnership extends to 2021.
A football and community development partnership, formed in 2015 between Inverurie Loco Works F.C. (ILWFC), Garioch Sports Centre (GSC) and Aberdeen FC Community Trust (AFCCT), will extend to at least 2021 after a successful 2 and a half year initial phase. The unique partnership has seen two professional football clubs (ILWFC & AFCCT) combine with the well-established sports facility (GSC) to create a role that has allowed each organisation to embed themselves further into the local community to work with people ranging from 3-94 years old, especially those from harder to reach backgrounds and those who are socially isolated. One significant aim of the partnership is to create a sustainable player pathway in Inverurie for both males and females. This involves providing a clear pathway for a primary school pupils to progress from grassroots football through to adult football utilizing the local Highland League, Junior and Amateurs teams. In 2016, Inverurie Loco Works F.C., Colony Park Juniors, Colony Park Community Club and Amateurs formed the Inverurie Community Football Partnership (ICFP) to display their commitment to strengthening the Inverurie Player Pathway. The partnership has also established Over 35’s and Walking Football to the Inverurie area to provide football for all regardless of age or ability. In addition, the partnership has been able to support Syrian refugees, elderly people (65+ years old), families, primary school children and adults who are harder to engage with through various projects including school-time interventions, health walks, healthy lifestyle programmes and working with those who are in care homes and living with Dementia. A number of these projects have also involved partnership working with other third sector organisations and charities in the area. Stephen Boddie, Community Coach (Inverurie) said… ‘The first two years of ILWFC, GSC and AFCCT working together have been extremely satisfying as we have managed to engage with over 2000 participants ranging from primary school children to elderly people living in care homes. Each organisation places a huge emphasis on engaging with their local community no matter their ability or age and we design and deliver projects that remove key barriers such as accessibility, affordability and age to keep people active and feel included within their community. I personally feel this is an excellent example of partnership working as communication is open and honest and the work being done is tailored to benefit the needs of the local community. The next two years will provide a number of exciting challenges and I look forward to developing the good work further. Over the next two years, the partnership aims to increase the amount of people gaining access to football in the local area and will continue to build positive relationships with third sector organisations and charities to deliver more community focused projects with people who are from harder to reach backgrounds or are socially isolated from their community”. Locos Chairman Mike Macaulay added “We have the highest regard for Stephen and the fabulous work he does. We see him as very much part of our Locos family and Inverurie is lucky to have him agreeing to extend his tenure”.
Pictured: Graeme Hay, Locos Vice-Chairman, Steven Sweeney AFCCT Operations Manager, Gordon Booth, Garioch Sports Trust Chairman, Stephen Boddie & Mike Macaulay, Locos Chairman.