Ilkley Town AFC under-5 and under-6 teams win corporate sponsorship

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The community-run football team is now sponsored by BusinessWaste.co.uk, a leading waste management firm who operate nationwide, and StemProtect.co.uk, a stem cell storage facility with 75,000 families entrusting their precious stem cells to its protection.

Budding sports stars train on at Ben Rhydding on Sundays at 8:45am – come rain or shine, its dedicated local coaches put young athletes through their paces in a fun and motivating environment which aims to enrich the surrounding community.

The newly-announced sponsors agree that supporting the initiative was an easy decision.

David Adams, the spokesperson for BusinessWaste.co.uk, said:

“Anything that gets children outside, learning new skills and having fun, is worth y of our support. As part of our community outreach we are always looking to promote schemes which encourage health and confidence in young people – and not only this, but a sense of community and responsibility too. This is a great way for us to engage with young people and help them feel connected to their local area – and, if they pick up on the importance of recycling along the way, even better!”

Andrew Shepherd, head coach of the team, commented of the team’s recent focus:

“It’s going really well especially considering that we recently held our first sessions for the under-5s, who showed plenty of enthusiasm. It’s also been encouraging to me how the under-6 team played – it’s clear that they have been playing over the summer and continuing to develop! With the excellent training facilities we have available to us at Ben Rhydding, we’ll be doing our best to help them have fun and move forward.

Shepherd noted that, while part of a team, the sessions are aimed at helping the young athletes grow in themselves and build skills, adding:

“It’s our intention to work with the under-5s to encourage them to work with the ball, get used to how it feels and not be frightened to express themselves to build up confidence – to this end we’ll be using FA coaching briefs, games and skills training to make sure that they learn how to play the right way, whilst having fun, which is the most important thing for them at this age!”

However, Shepherd added that the under-6 team would be starting to work on ‘more technical’ skills as they prepared to play friendly matches next year. He noted:

“We’ll try to develop their skills, such as small nets to help them target the ball and 3-man team drills to help them learn their passing and awareness, and start to point them in the right direction in terms of how to play. However, it will still be fun based – the idea is that they learn to play and express themselves.”

The coach concluded:

“A big thank you to StemProtect.co.uk and BusinessWaste.co.uk for the sponsorship of the team shirts – they really bring a sense of community and boost the players’ morale by making them feel like a ‘real team’.

“We have about 13 children in both age groups and whilst we don’t want too many as this will make it difficult to maintain the quality of coaching the club wants to achieve, we have space for a few more. If you know anyone that might be interested, please encourage them to come along!”

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