Andrew Bingham MP joined over 80 young footballers in the Peak District as they had a taste of what it’s like to be in the top tier of football, the Premier League, through a football tournament hosted by Hope Construction Materials last weekend.
The company’s Chairman Amit Bhatia is also Vice Chairman and Co-Owner of Queen Park Rangers Football Club. QPR has a very active programme of supporting community projects around its ground Loftus Road in London, but it was through this association with the Club’s Vice-Chairman, that Hope was able to ‘borrow’ four top flight QPR coaches to travel up from London and come along to Hope Works in the Hope Valley. The coaches – Stephen McCarthy James Staunton, Danny Harrigan and Conor McBrearty - spent time with local Under 8s and Under 9s football teams, training them and running them through a series of football skills drills. They were supported by some members of the Hope Works team who are also trained local football coaches.
The afternoon of coaching and training culminated in a mini football tournament between teams from Bradwell, Tideswell, Eyam, Baslow, Bakewell and Buxton.
Hope Works Administrative Assistant, one of the organisers of the event and keen football fan, Sallie Chalupa commented:
“What a unique opportunity this was for these young boys and girls. They were a bit in awe of having time and attention from these professional coaches who have worked with many Premier League players. They made the most of the coaching they received and showed off what they had learned in the tournament. It was fantastic to see so many young local footballers come together for this event. We look forward to hearing how the QPR influence helps them in their games next season!”
As well as the football coaching and tournament, Hope Works laid on entertainment and refreshments for the young players’ families.
"I was delighted to attend and it was fantastic to see all the youngsters getting involved, and to have coaches from QPR there gave a real buzz to the event. It is tremendous to see a company like Hope Construction Materials getting involved with the community in this way and offering such great opportunities to young people, and also seeing the workforce from the plant all getting involved too."
Stephen McCarthy, QPR’s Football Development Manager, said:
“This has been a fantastic opportunity for us at QPR. Normally most of the work we do is around London so it is great to come to a new area and showcase what we do to a new audience. The event was incredibly well run, and the children all seemed to have a great time. We were delighted to be asked here to help out to see so many young people playing with such dedication and determination. We hope we can return again next year.”
Local MP Andrew Bingham met with pupils from Buxton Community School recently, when they came down to Westminster for the day.
After going on a guided tour of Parliament, the group met Andrew for a talk and a Q&A session, when the pupils asked him about life in Westminster and his role as an MP.
Speaking afterwards, Andrew said:
"I'm very keen to get young people interested in politics, so I was delighted to meet with the group from Buxton Community School to talk to them about how Parliament works, and about what being a Member of Parliament involves.
"I always try my best to help bridge the gap between politics and people's lives, so if any other schools or groups would like a similar tour, please get in touch with my office, and I will do everything I can to arrange it."
Local MP Andrew Bingham welcomed WellFit CIC’s Mick Owen and Keith Clegg to Westminster recently, to attend the FA Mars Just Play Awards, in which their Thursday morning Walking Football group was Highly Commended in not one but two categories.
Just Play is a national programme which aims to bring together individuals who fancy a "no strings" game of football, and is helping to raise levels of participation across England. The Glossop session, which is delivered by a partnership between the local not-for-profit and Glossopdale Community College on the state-of-the-art pitch at the college's Newshaw Lane Hadfield site, was accepted on to the FA's programme in March 2014 and has gone from strength to strength.
Last year, the men - who turn up every Thursday at 11am whatever the weather - played at St George's Park (the FA's national centre of excellence near Burton-on-Trent), organised two tournaments at their Hadfield home pitch and topped it all off by taking on a team from the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Most importantly though, they kept recruiting, and there are now 45 older men on the Glossop register, all of whom enjoy the slowed down version of the beautiful game, the company of other men like themselves and a good laugh into the bargain.
As a result of the work done behind the scenes, the session made it to the final three of the FA Mars Just Play Centre of the Year Award and the doyen of Walking Football in Glossop, Keith Clegg, was short-listed for the Player of the Year Award.
Mick Owen, who runs WellFit and still occasionally turns out on a Thursday morning, said:
"This is a great shot in the arm for WellFit, for the people like Leanne Pace and Steve Playford at the college who have been so supportive of the session and for the men themselves. We might provide the kit and the activators Zoey Shaw and Jenny Gray - who are superb at their jobs - but it’s the men who make the session what it is; a great place to just turn up, meet friends old and new and kick a ball about - often badly."
“It was good to welcome Mick and Keith down to Westminster again, and I’m delighted that they were highly commended in two categories. The slowed-down version of the beautiful game enables many more people to take part, have some fun, and keep fit into the bargain.”
Men who want to try Walking Football should call Mick Owen on 07944 605508 or just turn up on a Thursday at 11am.
Local MP Andrew Bingham is this week urging retailers to get together and enter the Great British High Streets Awards 2015, with a share of an £80,000 prize pot up for grabs.
In addition to this, up to 100 retailers in each of the seven winning locations will be given training, courtesy of experts from Internet giant Google, on how to make the most of their digital skills.
Now in their second year, the awards celebrate the hard work of local groups up and down the country who are working together to support their local high streets and make them even better places to shop and socialise.
This year a new special prize has also been launched for towns who have become ‘Rising Stars’ or for local people who have made an invaluable personal contribution to their local high streets. Nominations for this year’s awards will run until 1 September, and the seven categories are:
• best city centre high street
• best town centre high street
• best market town high street
• best coastal community high street
• best village high street
• best parade of shops
• best London high street
Once all the entrants have been whittled down to a shortlist of 21 finalists, voting will then commence, and for the first time the public will have the chance to vote directly for their best-loved high street online.
All entrants to this year’s awards will also get a competition pack filled with helpful top tips to promote their entry alongside banners, logos and posters.
“This is a great opportunity to show that not only does the High Peak have some of the best scenery in the country, it also has some of the best high streets too. I would urge local retailers to come together and enter the competition in the relevant categories, and I am happy to help and work with any groups that want to enter. We have some fantastic high streets in the area, so let’s promote them!”
For more details see www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk and follow the competition on twitter @TheGBHighSt.