Oxford United and Bicester Village help youngsters join in with football fun
Oxford United and Bicester Village have collaborated for the first time to encourage children to join their local football teams to help community clubs develop and thrive. Oxford United will work in partnership with local clubs in Bicester and Oxford to provide fun and exciting coaching sessions which are specially structured to inspire and attract new players to clubs in their home communities.
A total of five schools will take part in the Bicester Programme, targeting the Year 5 and 6 pupils at an age when there is often a dip in player numbers. At the end of the six-week coaching period, a festival tournament followed by an awards ceremony will take place to celebrate the achievement of all who have taken part. In total 300 children will be playing football at school as part of the project. Special “transition days” will give the young players the unique opportunity to play alongside members of the Oxford United team, while integrating them into their local football club.
Miranda Markham, Community Relations Director at Bicester Village, said: “We are very proud to be part of this wonderful initiative by Oxford United and to bring the first project of its kind to Bicester. As the main sponsor of many Bicester sports teams we firmly believe that encouraging this type of early participation in team sport will have immense value for both the youngsters, their schools and their families.”
Tony Davison, Commercial Director at Oxford United, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Bicester Village as a community partner. They have a great brand and are a central to the Oxfordshire business community. This is a very exciting community project in an area of huge importance to Oxford United. There are a lot of U’s fans in Bicester and with this project we aim to enhance the football offering and inspire more children to play more often.”
The first coaching session will be commencing in schools at the beginning of June.