THE Coleg Powys Coaching Day at Newtown’s Maldwyn Leisure Centre has been hailed as an overwhelming success, despite the absence of Wales manager, Chris Coleman.
Over 150 children from 10 Newtown cluster primary schools received a coaching class from the college’s successful sport and football academy students, without the planned guest of honour.
The event also represented the start of a new partnership between Coleg Powys and Newtown Football Club, which aims to see the club become a focal point in the community.
Newtown FC academy director and Football Association of Wales Trust development officer Tim Broome was delighted with the level of interest from schools.
“It is great to see so many children, boys and girls, enjoying football,” said Broome. “The aim has to be to allow any child with an interest in football to have access to Newtown Football Club.”
Coleg Powys sports lecturer Gareth Watkins, a former Welsh Premier player with Newtown and Aberystwyth Town, hoped the day would continue to develop the 25 young coaches who took part.
“Such events can only help develop their leadership and coaching skills,” said Watkins. “It is important that we develop links with local primary schools and that coaches are giving something back to the community.
“It is good to see some of the children remembering coaches from similar events in the past and this can only benefit junior coaching in the Newtown area.”
Coleg Powys principal Simon Pirotte added: “It was excellent to see so many groups working in partnership to provide such an inspirational day for our local young people.
“We need to get all our young people active. Physical literacy is as important as literacy and numeracy.
“I am delighted that Coleg Powys students are essential role models for younger pupils.”
Carl Hyde of Treowen Primary School added: “We have a great relationship with Coleg Powys and the children enjoyed being coached by these young and enthusiastic coaches.”
The event was also attended by students from Ysgol Cedewain and Brynllywarch Hall School, as the college coaches looked to develop ties with the county’s special needs schools.
Owen Bean, sports co-ordinator at Ysgol Cedewain, said: “Events like this are good for the children, they enjoy the game and it also allows them to develop social skills.”
Watching all the action was Newtown manager Bernard McNally and his coaching staff, along with club chairman Elwyn Preece.
McNally said: “It is great to see so many children playing football and top marks to Coleg Powys and the young coaches for delivering such an event for so many youngsters.”