Church taking to football pitch

Volunteers with raffle prizes.
Volunteers with raffle prizes.

Primary school pupils and year 8 & 9 students will go crazy at Havelock Park on June 3 in a unique coaching initiative called ‘Gospel Goals’.

Each night during the week-long football coaching initiative, boys and girls from the Banbridge area will have the opportunity to enjoy expert football coaching from some of Northern Ireland’s top football coaches.

They are coming together as part of a special outreach initiative from Banbridge Baptist Church, whose members have been visiting a number of schools in the district over recent weeks to outline exact details of the special project.

Philip Mitchell, a past Ipswich Town, Linfield, Portadown and Glentoran player, who has also spent some time in the USA coaching young budding players, heads up a team of coaches who will be giving up their spare time during the football close-season to coach at Gospel Goals.

Each night from 6.30pm the children will be instructed in ways to develop their footballing skills, with a break for a short gospel epilogue or interview by the coaches.

The evening will finish around 8.30pm following a short game between teams to allow them to show off some of their newly-acquired skills.

Geoff Wilson, who is a qualified UEFA coach and who will be taking part in Gospel Goals said: “I am delighted to be involved in this innovative outreach programme. Football is a great tool to reach our youth and young people so the week promises to be not only exciting but rewarding for all involved.”

The last evening of Gospel Goals will consist of, among other competitions, a finals night for each age group as well as an awards presentation and a barbecue for all the participants and their parents.

Gospel Goals is completely free for all P3 to P7 and year 8 and 9 children. Registration forms at Shoefair in Banbridge.

Forms must be completed before taking part in Gospel Goals, where it will be trainers only (no boots or blades allowed). For further details e-mail: gospelgoals@banbridgebaptist.co.uk