A Sheffield junior club has established a ground-breaking partnership with a local charitable trust to establish ‘free football for all.’
Last season Beighton Falcons introduced an innovative scheme giving youngsters the chance to enjoy and take part in the beautiful game without the financial burden of paying subs.
On the verge of going out of existence, the club, since introducing ‘free football’ has steadily moved forward thanks to local businesses coming on board and becoming not sponsors but partners of the Falcons - their contributions covering all the expenses that are involved in running a junior club.
Now the club is making another bold step by partnering with the local charitable trust Matchday Support
Matchday Support was set up to give kids with disabilities or those facing financial hardship the chance to see and experience competitive football. It is currently working with Sheffield football league clubs as well as Bradford City and the two Nottingham clubs.
Match Day Support is the brainchild of Wayne Shortland, from Sheffield, who has considerable experience in the Social Care sector.
He said: “Beighton Falcons has aims and values that are so closely linked to the work we do - giving kids a chance to play and be involved in the game that, for a wide variety, wouldn’t ordinarily get the chance.
“The financial support that we will provide now each year will enable the club to grow yet further, still operate without charging subs and also set up a team solely for children with disabilities. In effect we become a part of each other and will work to raise funds to ever move forward. It is our plan to have a Falcons team in all towns and cities in which Matchday Support is working.
“This is ground-breaking and we look forward to the tasks ahead. Each team and coach will have their own target and budget for fund raising over the course of the year.”
Falcons Chairman John Garrett commented:
“The partnership will see the club change its name, badge and colours to reflect this unique partnership. The Club was founded in 2001 in Beighton .
“As it has been less and less associated with the suburb it will take the name “Matchday Support Falcons JSC, or MDS Falcons for short.
“We want to reflect the fact that MDS Falcons bridges the divide of the two professional cubs in Sheffield and we will change from the traditional yellow and blue we have worn for many years to red and blue stripes.
The badge will also be changed to the Matchday Support logo.“
* Contact Wayne Shortland at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com