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GoFitba project well underway in Cumbernauld

Written by  Valentina Servera
GoFitba is a football-based community project tailored for primary school kids and delivered by The Scottish Football Partnership Trust in association with community football clubs.
The main objective of this exciting initiative is to teach children how to eat healthy and engage them in regular and fun activity through playing football.
The project joins boys and girls from 8-12 years old from all different schools and lasts for 12 weeks. All sessions start with a 30-45 minute educational class but is made as dynamic and interactive as possible.
Every child was supplied with a glossy workbook, in which they learned about The Eatwell Guide, healthy choices, the importance of drinking water and the dangers of too much sugar and salt in their diet.
After the class, the kids got the chance to step out of the classroom and onto the football pitch to have a training session, during which they practiced and learned about warm ups, and new football skills, while also refreshing the tips and knowledge they learnt earlier on.
With these sessions, the club and the project hope to get these young people engaged in regular exercise.
Leading the session at Cumbernauld Colts was 22-year old coach Alexander Miller.
Alex has been a coach since he was 16 and at the age of 18, when he retired as a player, he decided to go into coaching and now, alongside his work for GoFitba, he coaches the Colts’ U17 team and assists with the U20s as well.
Commenting on the project, Miller said, “Every week you see progress with the kids that attend regularly.  Schools love it and the kids feel more comfortable to learn here as they don’t have any pressure and they can have fun”
One of the assistant coaches, 40-year old John Symth, was already involved in this project last year.
“The kids have fun and you see them progressing and enjoying football, it’s a win win”
“Alex’s passion makes the kids feel comfortable in the project, parents are very happy as well because they see their kids learning how to be healthy and having fun”
The work and passion shown by all who have volunteered their time and effort to the project is incredibly admirable, with parents really happy with the club’s involvement as well as the kids who attend.
Lindsay Taylor has only been in two sessions so far, along with her sister and brother, and she likes the skills and tips that she has learned and is sure she will keep applying them after she finishes.
Logan Anderson, another student on the project, has been assisting for four weeks and cannot speak highly enough of the project. The youngster has expressed a desire to become a goalkeeper, like Keylor Navas, the goalkeeper from his favourite football team, Real Madrid.
At the end of the session the kids sat together to have dinner, learning skills ranging from table manners to personal hygiene tips.
The impact that the project has had on the kids so far is amazing. I am incredibly lucky to see with my own eyes how the session works and how the kids feel and it was clear to see how much fun everyone was having, even when they were doing book exercises.
A huge amount of credit must go to all the coaches at Cumbernauld Colts who were a great help throughout the day.
Hopefully GoFitba can continue for many years to come!
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