Bakewell Town's community project continues to expand
Something amazing is going on at Bakewell Town FC and it’s much bigger than football.
The club is being built on a unique model that provides high quality level of coaching for people from ages six to 96.
As we came out of lockdown in August, Bakewell Town FC had nine teams in total from their youth, senior and veteran ranks, around 100 players.
Move the clock on and eight weeks later and they have 16 teams, with additions from under eights to ladies, plus more junior and girls' sides.
The plan is to add another seven teams by the start of the 2021 season, to have boys' and girls' teams in every year group and also put out a Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) walking football side.
Club spokesman and Junior section chairperson Dave Cottrell said: "The club has made it very clear that it exist to serve the community of Bakewell and the surrounding area.
"Instead of waiting for people to come to us we are taking the beautiful game to the people. There are no boundaries to playing football and the physical and mental benefits that the game provides should be for everyone including girls, boys, of all abilities and ages.
"As far as I can tell we are unique. We are taking the game to the people.
"In the last eight weeks we have taken on six FA Level 1 and 2 certified student teachers from Hallam University, including a professional woman footballer, a senior lecturer in sport from Nottingham Trent University, a SEND teacher and two further coaches who are currently signed up to take their level 1 badges."
The club is built on educational principles and, as well as being qualified, the new student coaches are mentored by Cottrell himself.
As well as being a qualified PE teacher, he spent 10 years in the United States helping to build the largest soccer camp business in the world.
Bakewell's programme, he explains, is designed to understand the cognitive differences of Children from age six through to 18. The practices take this into consideration with the six-10 year-olds enjoy playing Disney animated games that secretly promote good football practice.
The child then moves into that broadly speaking 11-14 year age where they enjoy mastering good techniques of control, passing, dribbling, shooting and tackling.
By the age 15-18 arrives the young players have excellent techniques and skills and are ready to learn about formations, strategies, leagues, cups and competing.
When asked how can the growth of the club continue, Cottrell says: “Football is a fun game, Children are fun - it’s only adults that can spoil that chemistry."
To ensure sustainability, Bakewell Town FC in the Community is taking football into 12 schools in and around the town.
Schools can be coached by female FA qualified coaches and can have all girls, all boys or mixed groups.
The clubs coaching team visit the Schools in school curriculum time or as an after school club.
George Finn and Liz Hobson, two Sheffield Hallam FA qualified coaches have been visiting St Anselms School for the past six weeks and teach football to 28 children, of which 12 are girls.
With a steady flow of children joining the club and a plentiful supply of trainee teacher, FA qualified coaches coming from Hallam University and the clubs educational philosophy the club looks like it will be growing for some time.
Any interested schools or parents/guardians can contact Dave Cottrell on 07898 776 000 or [email protected]