Representatives of the local business, community organisations and a number of elected representatives encompassing Councillors, MLAs and MPs were guests of Coleraine FC Community Liaison Group at the Showgrounds for Saturday’s Irish Cup match.
The group witnessed presentations by Coleraine FC Chairman, Colin McKendry and Coleraine FC Community Liaison Officer, Academy Chairman, Andy Alcorn on the extensive range of community activities that the club provides including the provision for the neighbouring community, disabled, health and heritage. Primarily the work of the Academy and community youth programmes took precedence and a guided morning bus tour was successful in showcasing how active and far reaching the club has became.
The opening day of the spring session of the Academy’s soccer school at the University and the Peace 111 mini soccer centre at Ballysally were en route for the tour before returning via the Cresent playing fields to the Showgrounds for a Q&A session, lunch in the Academy Suite and a half time parade of some of the Academy’s 350 registered players, that had returned in time from various match locations.
Andy Alcorn explained: “We have been actively seeking funding to install multi-use playing and training facilities at the club and thereby increase accessibility for all sections of the community and players of all abilities. To this end we have employed a renowned consulting group, who specialise in sports funding applications, and we hope that our guests will be witness to our need and the benefits to the local community of such facilities and support us by lobbying our applications.
“We have an extensive business plan ready to roll that will further increase the clubs community profile and partnership working but the need of multi-use facilities, of which Coleraine have none is essential. We hope that today has supported our plans and the immediate need for a self sustaining community facility at the Showgrounds.
“We hope that the ability to install such a facility in a relevantly short period of time and our unmatchable capability, via voluntary resource, to role out such a large community programmes will make our proposals attractive for future public and private funding.”