Nelson Football Club have been praised this week for their work in the community as the Blues continue to grow their development programmes.
Over the past 18 months the Admirals have been delivering weekly football sessions for children aged five to 15 through the Nelson FC Community Academy in partnership with Nelson Town Council.
The aim of the academy is to provide regular football to local youngsters with an emphasis on having fun and getting children from different backgrounds mixing and playing together from an early age.
The weekly sessions, located at Nelson and Colne College, are part of a community development plan put together by the club’s chief executive Adam Keizer.
They also include the Nelson Street League, which provides free five-a-side football to local youths, new Nelson FC junior teams as well as work in primary schools including the new Nelson FC Kick It Kids Club at Barrowford Primary School.
“Our work in the community is really important to the football club and the town,” said Keizer.
“We want to engage with local kids in particular, building that relationship from an early age that can last a life time.
“It started with our Community Academy which we have been running every Saturday for the past 18 months.
“We have kids of different backgrounds coming together to enjoy the game and so it has big potential to play an important role in the social cohesion within our town.
“Most of the children who come down have never been coached before and its proved to be a perfect first start for many.
“It’s really important that a child’s first experiences are positive because if they enjoy they will keep playing and if they keep playing they will develop their abilities.”