Our mission is to “to create a community Sports Hub, using physical activity and sport as a means of improving individual health, both physical and mental, and creating a sense of well-being and resilience in our community. By creating a successful hub in partnership with other community groups, we will promote a civic pride in our community realising our vision for the town and its environs.”
With that in mind ACSH has agreed a lease of the green field site in front of the community gym at Seafield, to the youth academy for a peppercorn rent of £1 per annum, with the lease to run concurrent with our lease of the overall site. This will allow each of the Academy’s teams use of the site without cost for training and playing games of 9 a side and under free of charge.
The green field site will now be known as AWRFC’s Seafield Youth training complex.
The youth academy at present have thirteen teams at 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 blues 2008 whites, 2007, & girls under 7, 9, & 11 teams. These teams will use the site for two training sessions per week each and also for games at the weekend.
Initiating children into sports from an early age has the effect of setting up the pace for what they will eventually become later in life, but most importantly, it allows them the space to focus on something they like and enjoy, turning it into their hobby and naturally developing their talent as the days go by. The benefits of youth football include:
Building of self confidence
Playing something like football at an early age with friends builds a sense of self-confidence that grows from being part of a team. When a child feels like their contribution is needed, it helps them by giving them a sense of belonging and the knowledge that others depend on him/her on the pitch. This is how future captains are usually made.
Building a sound body and mind.
Football, like any other sports, is physically intense; It involves a lot of running, dribbling, attacking and defence. All these activities require a fit body and mind and therefore engaging in youth football slowly builds up core strengths of the kids from an early age such that by the time they reach adolescence, they have built up sufficient strength to allow them to develop within and outwith sport. It all boils down to starting at an early age.
The daily interactions with others results in the development of friendships as well as rivalries, it will assist in creating community resilience and identity. Both things are very important as they are able to learn through experience what it means to compete with each other, to win against each other and to suffer a loss together. With time, they are able to handle their emotions better while at the same time, learn from their loss, preparing themselves mentally for the next challenge.
Improving communication skills
Having to communicate with each other on the pitch and interpreting what the coach instructs in the dressing room imparts an invaluable ability to communicate with others.
Ardrossan Winton Rovers Youth Academy started with a single team back in 2017 by Stevie Dick. Stevie is still with the academy and is the coach of the 2007’s team and a member of the Academy’s executive committee. In the intervening years more teams have been gradually added to the academy and we now have 13 teams including our girls section.
Ardrossan Winton Rovers Youth Academy became a Hub member in October 2019 and have taken great strides since then by growing the academy’s team membership, coaching staff and administrators, setting up the Academy’s training complex at Seafield and making it fit for purpose. The fit for purpose initiative started with making the area usable and this took place during September of 2020 and continues as the academy develops the complex further by relaying the training surface this spring and bringing it up to the highest standard possible. This upgrade also includes a smaller separate grass area for the youngest members of the academy to use for training alongside the use of the astro area within ACSH’s fitness centre, which is a real positive for those younger age groups knowing that they can go inside and not be exposed to the weather, this will encourage participation.
The cost for the work that has been carried out so far has been via the academy’s own fund raising and partially by ACSH. The academy sought volunteers who built the fence cut the grass, levelled the ground, Andrew Fullarton the academy’s Secretary said, “Without the help of parent volunteers and ACSH we could not have got to where we are today, we feel we are building a legacy for the local community and are excited about the future, and about our partnership with ACSH who have provided invaluable support to the academy”.
The work carried out so far:
- cut and maintained the grass entrance embankments.
- Built a fence around the old school.
- Built a fence to separate the training field from car park.
- Cut the grass training surface.
- Purchased mobile floodlights.
- Put in place lighting for the car park and nearside training pitch area.
The Scottish Men’s team head coach Stevie Clark hails locally from Saltcoats.
Clarke played for St Mirren, Chelsea and the Scotland national team, winning three major trophies with Chelsea towards the end of his career. After retiring as a player, he moved into coaching and worked at Newcastle United, Chelsea, West Ham United and Liverpool. Clarke has since managed West Bromwich Albion and Reading. After a spell coaching at Aston Villa, Clarke was appointed Kilmarnock manager in October 2017. In May 2019, he was appointed manager of the Scottish national team. He led the team to UEFA Euro 2020, their first major tournament for 23 years.
The Youth Academy has already taken huge strides since it took over the site. They have taken over the maintenance of all outside areas apart from the gym and entrance ramp. The Academy along with ACSH are in the process of making a planning application to further enhance the area, the application if successful will see permanent floodlights being put in place around the training area and a welfare facility sitting in front of the training area between the fence and car park.
The welfare unit will provide catering, changing/toilet facilities with somewhere for parents to shelter when the weather is inclement. It will also give teams a place to meet within the academy grounds. ACSH & AWR Youth Academy would like to thank our architect partners McMillan and Cronin for their support with this project.
In terms of numbers the academy has over 300 children participating in sport and fitness along with over 50 adults involved in coaching and team administration. If you also include parents who are actively involved that means the academy has over 450 members of the community involved in a more active life.
We are also delighted to say that over 70% of the academy’s players, coaches, administrators, and parents have also become members of ACSH. Can we encourage those who have not yet signed up as individual or group members to click the button below and submit your application.
Football is our national game and therefore a good starting point for ACSH in getting the community more active, we are delighted to be able to support Ardrossan Winton Rovers and its youth academy, working in partnership for a fitter community.