Spireites Soccer School only tells half the story

The Community Trust’s half-term activities are back next week and reflecting on the success of the Easter camps shows that the sessions are so much more than just sports.

Record numbers across the Spireites Soccer School, Girls Camp and William Rhodes Roadshow saw hundreds of children come together again, for the first time since summer 2020, to engage, socialise and play together. Whilst the aim of the sessions are to let kids enjoy playing sports, the psychological benefits were noticed by coaches across the Trust.

Darren Parkinson, Camp lead said: “It took around an hour of trepidation from the kids before all barriers went down. The smiles, laughter and sounds of kids playing came out again and it was a magical moment to be involved in.

“We saw as the week went on, friendships forming and plenty of smiles, but what I noticed the biggest shift in was the kids’ natural desire to support each other. Lots of helping people up or encouragement after conceding a goal, it was great.”

Alyss Hearnshaw, who ran the Girls Camp, said: “The girls really looked out for each other. For some, it was like they had never been away and for others, it took some time.

“The older girls supported the younger ones and it became a team of friends working together. It was uplifting to be there and be involved.”

It was also apparent that the camps inspired not only the participants, but also the coaches.

Keith Jackson, the Trust’s head of sport and activities said, “The uncertainty of the previous Soccer School last summer meant we were all cautious ahead of Easter about how children would react to being in groups again and playing with others.

“To be honest, when I was coaching it was the participants who helped me. Once in the middle of it, I could see it in all our staff that this had been so worthwhile. It was a joy to be there.”

The Spireites Soccer School and Girls Camp are back this half-term. To book, please visit www.officialsoccerschool.co.uk/chesterfield