Royston Town Community Programme – The first 12 months
We recently sat down with our Head of Community, Lewis Endacott to discuss what the first year of the Royston Town Community Programme has delivered:
Tell us a little more about yourself:
I’m the Head of Community here at Royston Town Football Club. I’ve been involved with the Club for the last 12 years, whether it’s as a player or being involved in the management side of the Ladies side so I’m very familiar with my surroundings here.
What does your role entail?
Being Head of Community I work for the Club full time across a number of different areas. We work within local schools, youth development, running school holiday courses and other community activities.
What’s the history of our Community Programme?
The Programme started in May 2018. The Club were very fortunate when former Royston Town keeper Will Norriss moved from Cambridge United to Wolves as due to the inclusion of a sell-on cause the Club received some funds from the transfer. As a result, the Club has invested heavily in the Community Programme. Not many clubs would do that and it really demonstrates just how ambitious and committed the Club to making a difference to the local area.
What are the aims of the Community Programme?
The aim of the Community Programme is to engage with the Royston community using the power of sport to helps kids realise their potential. And also providing opportunities for those kids to participate in recreational and competitive sporting activities. We pride ourselves on being a welcoming and supportive of the entire community and we are a fully inclusive Club.
What services does the Community Programme offer?
Our school sports programme is broken into two areas – curricular and extra-curricular. Curricular is in lesson time and extra-curricular is out of lesson time. Within our curricular programme we deliver PE lessons across a variety of sports – usually seasonally based. For example, at this time of year we are delivering athletics, cricket, rounders and tennis. We deliver a wide variety of sports – not just football. In the winter months we provide Tag Rugby and football as well as gymnastics and dance lessons. With our extra-curricular programmes we provide lunch and after-school clubs. We work with the schools to provide a variety of services from playground management, hosting lunchtime activities as well as providing after schools clubs. We also work closely with a number of the local schools sports teams – again not just football. We’ve worked with various teams including Tag Rugby and netball. One of our local schools wanted help with their netball team and we were able to provide a qualified netball coach from our team of coaches and they saw some great results.
What is the reach of the Community Programme?
The youngest child we currently engage with is just 18 months old. They are part of our popular Tiny Tots group that we run. Within our schools programme we are currently working with 7 schools within Royston and the surrounding area. Within those schools we we will be engaging with other 600 children on a weekly basis.
What’s been one of the biggest successes of the Programme in its first year?
I’ve got to mention our Female Development Centre. We’re approaching the end of our first season and the girls have been absolutely fantastic over the duration of the season. We’ve played fixtures against other development centres from Stevenage FC, Watford FC and Cambridge United FC. In those fixture the girls performed fantastically. We’re looking at continuing to improve for next season and we’ve recently held trials to recruit new players. We’ve had some fantastic interest from Royston and beyond and we’re really looking to kick on next season.
Is it unusual for a Non-League club to have a Community Programme like this?
Usually clubs will focus their investments purely on the pitch but Steve Jackson (Club Chairman) and the rest of the Board have always wanted to connect the Club with the local community here in Royston. Our Community Programme enables us to connect and interact with local youngsters and to encourage them to be more active.
What does the future hold for the Community Programme?
Obviously we’re looking to continue our current programmes whilst growing still further the number of schools and children we are engaging with. We’re also looking to branch out further into Royston and surrounding areas. We’ve recently taken on another full time coach and so we are well placed for our planned growth. We are always looking to create new partnerships with any local organisations. It would be fantastic if we could find a local business that shares our community and social beliefs and inclusive ethos to really help us push on to the next level.
Thanks for your time Lewis!
A video of this interview can be found here
If you’d like further information about what the Royston Town Community Programme offers or if you’d like to work with us, then you can contact Lewis using the details below:
Tel: 07812 988071