‘Football Lifeline’ set to score for jobless young people

EX CHELSEA player Billy Sinclair is hoping for a result with a ‘Football Lifeline’ initiative aimed at helping local jobless people.

The initiative is an informal training course aimed at supporting unemployed people aged between 18 and 35 years old in the Lagan Valley area, and is free of charge.

Councillor Thomas Beckett, Chairman of the Council’s Leisure Services Committee, and Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale are both enthusiasti supporters of the initiative.

Mr Beckett, Chairman of the Council’s Leisure Services Committee, said: “When Billy approached the Council with his proposal for Football Lifeline the Leisure Services Department was very keen to support it. It received grant funding from the Council and once a week a training session will take place in the new 3G football cages at the Lagan Valley LeisurePlex from 19th April. The Council finds it very fitting that such a new innovative project will happen on it newest facilities.

“Billy is to be commended for his willingness to support young people who are currently out of work and to help them develop an interest in the game and perhaps progress on to study for coaching qualifications. To help Billy he has secured the voluntary service of Ex-Irish League Managers and Players including Bobby Carlisle, Billy Nixon, Roy Coyle, John Hutton and Jackie Hutton.

“With such a fantastic team of coaches I would encourage those interested in participating to express their interest as soon as possible to secure a place on the Football Lifeline project,” he concluded.

MLA Brenda Hale added: “There has been steady rise in the number of young people who were not in education, training or employment, especially in the Lisburn area. Not only does this have a negative impact on the economy but evidence suggests that the exclusion from mainstream society of young people could condemn them to a life of vulnerability.

“Opportunities such as the training offered by Billy and his team of professional footballers is a fantastic way to help support and challenge the issues facing young people in today’s society.

“I was delighted when Billy contacted me to help support him in developing solutions to the number of administrative and funding challenges, and I wish him every success with this initiative and would like to thank Lisburn City Council for their cooperation in facilitating this initiative.”

Football Lifeline has received grant assistance from the UnLtd Ignite Awards Scheme.

The football courses will start on April 19 at 1.45pm. This project will last eight to ten weeks with one session per week lasting 1.5 to 2 hours. Participants must use their own training gear and footwear suitable for 3G and 4G surfaces.

Further information can be obtained by phoning Billy Sinclair on 07927 307929. Billy would also like to thank Roy Walker for his support.