Nearly 3400 attendees have enjoyed Friday Night Football over the last 12 months at three venues across the Borough as the project continues to be a huge success.
The project, which takes place at Places Leisure Eastleigh, Botley Recreation Ground and the new venue Hamble Sports Complex, provides a positive activity for young people aged 10 – 19 years on a Friday evening. The scheme takes place all year round on artificial pitches and costs just £1 pay and play. The new session at Hamble has been supported by Bursledon, Hamble and Hound Local Area Committee and a grant from Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019/20 Safer Communities Fund.
This year marks 15 years since the start of the Friday Night Football project that has aimed to help reduce anti-social behaviour and at the same time help young people to meet their weekly recommended levels of physical activity and help to support their mental wellbeing. A number of young people have also volunteered on the project to develop their leadership skills.
A new reward and recognition scheme has now been introduced to the project, with local businesses donating prizes to recognise those who demonstrate commitment, fair play and respect amongst their peers. So far prizes have been donated by Hollywood Bowl Eastleigh, Everyone Active, Wildern Leisure Centre and the Saints Foundation.
Cabinet Lead for Health Cllr Tonia Craig said, “It’s clear that Friday Night Football continues to be a positive and popular project for young people. As well as helping address issues such as antisocial behaviour, sport has the power the get across messages of respect and teamwork, as well as benefiting overall health and wellbeing.”