Dan Makes His Mark
Although Sporting Club Thamesmead is still a little way off from opening don't think the staff team have been sitting around twiddling their thumbs!
In fact a huge amount of work has been going on behind the scenes in readiness for the launch of Thamesmead's fantastic new sports and community hub in Bayliss Avenue, not least of which is the work that's been done during the past 12 months by Dan Wells, the club's Sports Development Officer.
Thanks to his commitment, enthusiasm and sheer hard work he has already worked with more than 1,000 young people, the vast majority from Thamesmead.
In short Dan's job is to facilitate sports and physical activity alongside a wide range of community activities.
He does this by working closely with partners including Thamesmead Town FC, Charlton Athletic Community Trust for the benefit of Thamesmead's residents.
His work with Thamesmead schools has been enormously successful and very well received. He has run anti-racism and anti-bullying sessions and brought together 150 young footballers for the annual Matthew Clarke Memorial Tournament.
Thanks to one of the Mayor of London legacy funding pots, Freesport, £1,500 provided free Soccer Train sessions with the aim of getting young people active and signposting them to local sports clubs. These attracted approximately seventy young people each week.
Despite the funding ending after the six week programme the sessions have continued with Thamesmead Town FC running weekly sessions at minimum cost to participants and between 35-50 young people attend these sessions each week.
During the summer holidays Dan worked with local sports clubs to deliver range of sports schools in Thamesmead including golf, football and tennis and further funding from the Bexley Small Grants Scheme will facilitate a week-long free football course for youngsters during the October half-term.
Given that the club's objective is to provide sport for all Dan is also involved in the development of TM 7s, a new seven-a-side football league for adults. This will enable teams from across south-east London and north Kent to play on state-of-the-art 3G floodlit pitches that are good enough for the professionals.
The club is currently taking bookings for free introduction tournaments ahead of starting the league in the autumn. Check out the website for more information and contact details.
Meanwhile the club's first education programme is underway in partnership with Charlton Athletic Community Trust and education provider SCL (which is responsible for the management and delivery of the education element of the programme).
The Thamesmead Town FC Football Academy is a 1 or 2 year, full-time Education and Football Development programme which is fully-funded and therefore free to students.
20 players have already been accepted onto the course and so will represent Thamesmead Town FC's Academy side after successfully completing a rigorous trial or playing assessment session. They will compete in the Conference Youth Alliance League for U19's with league games taking place on Wednesday afternoons
The remainder of the comprehensive timetable is made up of training sessions at Sporting Club Thamesmead and classroom based education taking place at The Link Thamesmead.
Dan told Trust Talk: “The boys have settled into the programme extremely well. They have graced the training sessions with their football ability and hard work and shown fantastic attitude to the programme as a whole. They have been particularly impressed with their classroom facility at The Link.
“It's not too late to join the course because students can enrol up to the end of September and we are still looking for a goalkeeper”.
Looking to the future Dan is working on a range of possibilities to extend the sports offer from Sporting Club Thamesmead including table tennis, boxing, Taekwondo, a boot camp, an outdoor gym and netball.
You can find out much more about Sporting Club Thamesmead here, www.sportingclubthamesmead.co.uk