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Supporting young men in West Belfast

Published: Wed, 1 Apr 2015
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Sharon Beattie, our West Belfast Housing Services Manager presenting the cup to the 16-25 age group winners.
Sharon Beattie, our West Belfast Housing Services Manager presenting the cup to the 16-25 age group winners.
We have supported a West Belfast football club at an interface area with the award of a community grant.
it is intended to encourage young men in the area to get active and be aware of their health.
The Springmartin area of West Belfast is overshadowed by a large peace wall, and the community suffers high levels of anti-social behaviour as well as drug and alcohol dependency.  The Housing Executive was approached by the Springfield Star Football Club, for some funding to be made available.  The club was keen to run football coaching sessions for two different age groups, and awareness sessions to tackle men’s health in a deprived interface community.
The Housing Executive provided over £4,000 to enable football coaching sessions to take place for 10-15 year olds and 16-25 year olds.  The funding also provided awareness sessions on men’s health issues, which was very beneficial for all who participated.  The results are already being seen, with less anti-social behaviour in the area.
A tournament to round off the successful exercise was held on Friday 20th March 2015 and the Housing Executive sponsored cup was presented to the winning team by Sharon Beattie, West Belfast Area Manager.  The funding also provided medals and shirts for the participants, and the Housing Executive sponsored the winners’ trophy.
The football manager and joint coordinator, Jim Waite was pleased to be able to participate in this interface project.  He said:
“It was a pleasure to work with the young boys and be part of this project.  The success of the coaching sessions is evident in the level of skills seen in the football tournament, and the boys responded well to the health awareness too.”
Councillor Frank McCoubrey was delighted at the number of participants that took part, saying:
“The Springmartin area has been making great strides to move on from the past.  The football coaching and health awareness sessions have given the local young men an opportunity to see that there is more to do now, as well as instilling confidence in them.”