On Friday, June 16, the Gillingham FC Community Trust (GFCCT) hosted a Father’s Day football festival with Barnsole Primary School in Gillingham.
Children from the school were invited along with their male relatives to enjoy a range of fun football activities in the sunshine. From dribbling challenges, to small-sided games; football bowling to shooting practice, there was a chance for all families to get involved, regardless of their previous experience. There was even a tennis section for those that wanted to try a different sport.
After honing their skills at the activities, all of the families came together for a lively penalty shoot out – children vs. children and parents vs. parents – with the eventual winners from both groups meeting for a final shot at glory. In both the morning and afternoon sessions, it was the children's group who went away Gills penalty shoot out champions!
The Gills' 2012-13 Sky Bet League Two Winners Trophy and our Girls Academy's recently awarded league shield were also out at the sessions for some great photo opportunities.
Over 100 families from Barnsole School joined the sessions throughout the day. GFCCT staff were also supported by members of our Girls Academy, who helped to facilitate the activities.
Barnsole Assistant Headteacher Sarah Ryan said of the event: "It exceeded all I had hoped for, and it was great to see men engaging with their children and other men! There were over 100 families represented at the event and feedback is really positive."
GFCCT Head of Football and Sports Development Simon Hodge added: "The whole event was established as a fete-type activity where children and their dads could choose which activities they wanted to participate in. It was an excellent opportunity to be able to empower and support children and their family members in a sporting environment. What was really inspiring was seeing how positively the children and their dads interacted together; there was lots of smiling!"
Girls Academy first year student Millie Waud, who supported the activities, also reflected on the outcomes of the session. "I hope the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and had a good day with their dads or other parents and guardians," she said. "I hope they went away from the event having learnt something new about football and having grown an interest in the sport, and gained information about how to get involved."
Thank you to all of the staff and families from Barnsole School who joined us for the sessions, and to our coaches and Girls Academy players for helping to run the day.