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Oxford City Football Club is set to upscale its work in the community by using football as a lever to encourage more young people living locally to lead an active lifestyle.
The National League side has recruited James Gilmore as its new Football and Sports Development Manager to deliver assemblies, sport intervention sessions and football programmes across local schools.
The move will see the club broaden its existing community provisions delivered in partnership with sister organisation Ignite Sport. They include Holiday Activity and Food programmes in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, Junior and Youth football opportunities and football sessions on Saturday mornings.
New sessions will also seek to engage children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those who are at greater risk of not meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended levels of physical activity.
It comes after new figures from the Youth Sport Trust revealed less than half (47%) of young people in the UK are active for 60 minutes or more each day.
James said: “Every child should have the opportunity to connect with sport and physical activity each day to not only boost their physical wellbeing, but their mental health too.
“Unfortunately, accessing appropriate provisions is not always straight forward and there remain barriers which can prevent young people engaging with physical activity.
“Accepting this new role as Football and Sports Development Manager is an exciting opportunity for me personally and will enable the club to widen its social impact work across Marston, Barton, Headington and our other local communities.
“Ultimately, we want to encourage more young people to get active and will use connections with our Men's and Women's first teams to achieve this.”
Justin Merritt, Director of Oxford City FC, added: “While a lot of focus and attention is directed towards results achieved on the pitch, it is important we consider how we can positively impact our community off it.
“As one of Oxford’s largest sports facilities coupled with our recent men's team promotion to a professional league, we are proud to give back where possible and broadening our engagement with local schools and young people is an area we’re excited to develop.
“James has been a key member of the Ignite Sport team since joining our operation and we’re pleased he has agreed to lead our community work.”
For further information and to enquire about assembly delivery or fun football and intervention sessions by Oxford City FC, please email James via firstname.lastname@example.org.