Article by Oxford Mail: 16th August 2010
Oxford United coaches will help youngsters brush up on their skills at a free fun day on an Oxford estate.
Budding Yellows players can take part in a penalty shoot-out and receive tips about their passing, dribbling and shooting at the event in Rose Hill on Friday, August 27.
The training is part of a second ‘taster session’ being held on the estate, with young people being asked to choose which activities they would enjoy at a proposed new junior youth club.
Last month, U’s players Richie Baker and Rhys Day made an appearance at the first fun day, teaching the youngsters some tricks of the trade.
Rose Hill community worker Fran Gardner said the estate has had a youth club for 13 to 18-year-olds for a long time, but nothing for younger children.
She said: “We really want to make sure there is something for children of all ages. Last month’s event was a fantastic success and we were delighted to see so many young people and families turn up.
“It showed us there is a need for a younger youth club in Rose Hill, and we hope to see just as many people as last time.
“It’s a great opportunity for these children to have a coaching sessions with the people who help train their heroes every day.”
As well as top football tips, children and their parents can enjoy a free buffet lunch at the event, which takes place from 1pm to 4pm in the Norman Brown Room at Rose Hill Community Centre.
This time the event is open to all children aged 12 and under, as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Ms Gardner, who is employed by Oxford Citizens Housing Association, is on the management committee of Rose Hill Junior Youth Club.
She said: “Last time the lunch was fantastic. People from all Rose Hill’s different ethnic groups brought food along, so there was an amazing choice.
“We’re hoping for more of the same this time, and we will make sure there is plenty for the children as well as the parents.”
Youngsters can tackle the climbing wall, street and break dance workshops, drumming and DJ-ing classes at the event, and learn circus skills.
Face-painting, glitter tattoos and hair-braiding will also be available.
A fire engine and its crew, street wardens, an Oxford Citizens Housing Association information stall, the Oxfordshire Healthy Living Partnership and Police Community Support Officers will be there too.
The junior youth club committee has asked children’s charity the Oxford Association for Young People to run the club on its behalf.
Ms Gardner it was hoped to raise up to £10,000, with the aim of opening the club in September.
She said: “These taster sessions have really helped us find out what young people here really want.”