Royston Town leading the way after grant from Trident Community Foundation

·3-min read
The day saw Conservative MP Oliver Heald, speak on the importance of Pitching In in Non-League.
The day saw Conservative MP Oliver Heald, speak on the importance of Pitching In in Non-League.

Royston Town experienced a mixed season in the Southern League Premier Division Central, but off the pitch, they're leading the way by reaching out to young people in the local community, writes Jonny Bray.

The Crows were among the first recipients of a grant from the Trident Community Foundation, which was launched in December 2020 as part of Pitching In's landmark investment into grassroots football.

The third oldest football club in Hertfordshire responded by springing into action, offering young people programmes on topics ranging from mental health support to dental hygiene.

And they were rewarded for their good work in the community with a visit from constituency MP Sir Oliver Heald QC, who was delighted to witness the selfless work being done for himself.

"Royston has got tremendous community spirit. I have lived here for 40 years, and I think that it is something we are proud of in Royston," said Heald, speaking after he and students from a local school attended a classroom session on resilience at Garden Walk.

"It's an easily accessible way for young people to get the help they need to understand mindfulness and other issues, but without the pressure.

"The combination of our local sports teams and our local schools working together works really well, and I have been really pleased to see the actual session so I can learn a bit more about it."

The day started with a talk from Royston Town's Head of Community and former player Lewis Endacott on resilience, attended by students.

The students then enjoyed a series of practical sessions that aimed to emphasise the topics discussed through physical activity and sport.

And Endacott believes the programme is a great way to engage young people.

Royston Town are reaching out to the community, using money from the Trident Community Foundation
Royston Town are reaching out to the community, using money from the Trident Community Foundation

He said: "Previously, I have worked for professional clubs with their charities and their programmes, and this is a similar sort of thing.

"Being a local lad, I want to do it for the football club that I was involved in as a player.

"We have recently started new projects like active maths, active literacy and our mental health programme.

"I remember when I was at school doing maths and literacy, they were always the subjects that I least looked forward to.

"So our programme thinks about how we can engage those children who are not necessarily as academic but who can still benefit from it by adding a physical element to it."

Chairman Steve Jackson, who has overseen significant development of the club's facilities and community programme, was proud of the excellent work being done at Garden Walk.

He said: "I am massively proud, massively proud."

"It's not a solo effort. It's a team effort, and we have got a really good board of directors, and we are all pulling in the same direction.

"We are all volunteers. None of us take a penny out of the club at all.

"They all devote an awful lot of time to it. Yes, we want success on the pitch, but more than anything else, we want success for the football club.

"That is what we are trying to achieve.

Ladbrokes, with the support of its owner Entain, has launched a multi-million-pound investment programme, Pitching In, designed to support and promote grassroots sports. For more details see: https://entaingroup.com/sustainability/pitching-in/

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting