18:00 11 August 2016
To check out the latest information on our Dale in the Community initiatives, as well as how your child can get involved, click HERE.
Rochdale AFC’s Dale in the Community Sports Trust has been operating for almost 29 years.
The Football in the Community (FITC) initiative began operating officially on September 1987 and saw the now Head of Community, Keith Hicks, take up his role three weeks later on October 5th.
Former footballer Hicks, who is still in the job today, was forced to retire from the game after sustaining an injury during a match against Crewe Alexandra at Spotland and returned to the club to take up the role in the Community Department.
The scheme was the brainwave of Micky Burns of the Professional Footballers Association and he originally oversaw the setting up of projects at Manchester City, Manchester United, Bolton Wanderers, Oldham Athletic, Preston North End and Bury followed six months later by Rochdale and five other clubs.
The intention was to use the facilities at each club to promote community engagement and use players to act as role models, especially to youngsters in the local communities.
The aims and objectives set out for Rochdale AFC were to encourage more people (especially children) to play football, to encourage more people to become interested and support Rochdale AFC by forging closer links between the club and the local community, and to promote the issue of social inclusion by offering opportunities for young people who may be prevented from fully participating in mainstream activities.
These objectives are exactly the same today.
Today, Dale’s Community team are out and about across the Borough every day of the week engaging with youngsters through initiatives such as their Respect Project scheme which sees first team players spend an afternoon with primary schools kids. Their work also sees them hold soccer school courses, as well as Friday and Saturday night football sessions which are aimed at 13-19 year olds.
To check out the latest information on Trust initiatives, click HERE.