Two local community clubs with big ambitions are the latest additions to the scottishathletics national Club Together Programme – North Ayrshire AC and Chirnside Chasers.
The programme, which is all about increasing capacity, quality development and club modernisation, is growing from strength to strength with 28 clubs now working within the project that has evidenced over 6,000 new athlete and 600 new coaches since its inception in 2012.
The funding for both projects has been provided by a partnership programme between scottishathletics, sportscotland and local partners – KA Leisure and North Ayrshire Council for NAAC and Borders Athletics Development Group and Borders Sport and Leisure Trust for Chirnside Chasers.
As part of the project, Chirnside Chasers are appointing a Club Development Officer who will spend 12 hours per week supporting the committee, coaches and volunteers to grow capacity within the club and focus on developing the club further.
Chair Stephen Ross is extremely enthusiastic about the new project.
‘Chirnside Chasers have evolved hugely since our recreational running beginnings as a jogscotland groups and became an affiliated athletics club with scottishathletics two years ago in April 2013,’ said Stephen.
‘We have developed on many fronts including our governance, planning, links to the community, growth of our members, volunteers, coaches and athletes (especially juniors). As part of this work, we have completed the scottishathletics Foundation Award for Club Accreditation.
‘We are also an integral part of Club Sport Berwickshire, the Scottish Borders Athletics Development Group and Team Borders.
‘But whilst Chirnside Chasers have seen some early progress, we do feel there is huge potential to develop much further and working in partnership through the Club Together project can help us achieve our ambitions.’
Chirnside U13s – medals at the National XC
North Ayrshire AC have made some significant progress recently including a new clubhouse at their track amongst other areas.
This extremely progressive club are in the process of appointing two new positions (15 hours each) through the Club Together programme – a Community Coach who will mentor new and existing coaches at the club and deliver a programme of athletics to every primary school child in North Ayrshire; and the second position – a Club Development Officer, who will work to expand the capacity within the club by increasing volunteers, coaches, parent helpers and revenue streams.
Blair Pettigrew, North Ayrshire AC Chair and British Athletics Volunteer of the Year for 2014, is thrilled the club’s vision for developing athletics in North Ayrshire is fast becoming a reality.
‘As it stands, every coach, committee member and helper at the club does so voluntarily, most of whom have given up hundreds of hours of their own time to help the club get to where it is now,’ said Blair.
‘So success with this application to have two paid employees via the Club Together Project and from the Direct Club Investment Programme is a huge step forward for us.
‘We firmly believe that over the next three years, athletics will have the highest number of participants for any sport in North Ayrshire. The key disciplines of running, jumping and throwing are core movements for any sport and to provide every child expert tuition within school time is a great achievement for the club.
‘We are extremely grateful to our four partners for this funding and for helping to make the club’s vision a reality.’