Free sports coaching in Blackpool parks set to inspire next generation

Howzat! Councillors representing wards in the north of Blackpool have launched an £8,000 new sports programme in a bid to inspire youngsters and cut down on anti-social behaviour.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Thursday, 7th July 2022, 9:07 am

Conservative councillors Paul Galley, who represents Anchorsholme, and Paul Wilshaw, who represents Bispham, have set up the free coaching scheme in three parks.

Children will be offered the chance to play a range of sports including football, basketball and cricket at Cavendish Park, Anchorsholme Park and East Pines Park.

The scheme is being funded to a total of £8,000 from a variety of sources including ward grants, Sport England, the Lancashire Police Commissioner, Fylde Cricket Society and the Friends of Anchorsholme Park.

Coun Wilshaw (left) and Coun Galley have launched a free sports programme

Coun Wilshaw said: "I've been involved in youth sport for a number of years and I know first hand the positive impact coaching can have on young people, especially as it develops skills that are useful in other parts of their lives including confidence building, self discipline and teamwork."

Coun Galley added: "We are eight years into offering football coaching at East Pines and it's generated some fantastic young people.

"To see it being expanded in to three other parks is something we are hugely proud about.

"It's crucial the programme is free for children and I am convinced over the space of 20 years with the partnership of local clubs we are developing, will produce at least one international sports person."

He added: “It’s been a combination of grants that have allowed us to put the timetable together.”

The programme is the latest boost for grassroots sport in Blackpool after the council has also received £150,000 of national funding to refurbish tennis courts at Stanley Park, Cavendish Road Park, Claremont Park and Anchorsholme Park.

The sports on offer from now until the end of September are:

Football every Tuesday 5pm to 6pm Cavendish Park (8 to 11's)

Cricket every Friday 5pm to 6pm Anchorsholme Park (8 to 11's)

Basketball every Friday 5pm to 6pm Anchorsholme Park (8 to 11's)

Football every Friday 6.30pm to 7.30pm East Pines Park

Football every Saturday 5.30pm to 6.30pm Anchorsholme Park

Junior parkrun every Sunday from 9am to 9.30am Anchorsholme Park ongoing.