Library kicks off link with football

STEPHEN PULLINGER A Norfolk library is proving it is really on the ball at encouraging local youngsters by setting up its own youth football club.

STEPHEN PULLINGER

A Norfolk library is proving it is really on the ball at encouraging local youngsters by setting up its own youth football club.

The aim of Gorleston library assistants Marcus Anderson and Richard Bladon is to give the boot, once and for all, to the traditional stuffy image of libraries.

Training for the new Gorleston Lions will include sessions in the library as well as on the pitch - expanding their wider knowledge of the game through books on nutrition, fitness and coaching - and club meetings will also be in the library.

The library has kicked off the project with £800 to buy a kit, thanks to a grant from the county council-administered Norfolk Youth Fund.

Mr Anderson, 26, himself a keen footballer, said: “We do get a lot of young people in after school but there are still many others unaware of the exciting range of library facilities we have, with computers and DVDs as well as books. This is a way of the library service trying to finally shake off its former dowdy image.”

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He said it was currently difficult for young people in the town to get into local teams so the two planned library sides - under-19 and one 19 and over - would fill a real need.

The bid for the grant was submitted by local swimming pool manager Aaron Jones, 19, a qualified FA football coach, whose mother Linda works at the library.

Aaron, who will be club coach, said: “We already have about 20 youngsters joining us for training sessions at the town's Cliff Park High School. Our eventual aim is to expand the age group to include younger teams.”

Once the teams are established, they will be looking to train and set up friendlies, before eventually looking at entry to local leagues next year.

Library service locality manager Mary Kent said: “I am delighted that the Norfolk Youth Fund decided that we were a worthy cause to fund and we are sure this is going to be an excellent way to engage young people in the local community with the library.

“As well as bringing young people together to play, we hope to help them read round the subject in terms of researching fitness and nutrition. We have young people working at the library, who are going to work hard to bring this all together and I'm sure this will be a winning idea.”

The Norfolk Youth Fund is made up of a board of young people. Bids can be submitted from individuals or groups of young people aged 13 to 19. Not only do young people come up with the ideas on how to spend the cash, they are also responsible for making the final decisions on which bids for cash get the go-ahead.

A FEW GOOD READS FOR THE FOOTBALL CLUB?

Slaughterhouse Five-A-SideKurt Vonnegut

One Flew Over The Canaries' NestKen Kesey

A Clockwork Half-Time OrangeAnthony Burgess

Possession A S Byatt

Fantastic Mr Ruel FoxRoald Dahl

Huckerby FinnMark Twain

The Right-Back of Notre DameVictor Hugo

Score and PeaceLeo Tolstoy

Moby KickHerman Melville

The Ball of the WildJack London

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