Strabane and Castlederg youth discover their athletic potential

Thursday, 14 June 2018

HUNDREDS of local youngsters aged six up to 11-years-old have been discovering the joy of athletics over the last year through the newly formed Junior Athletics Club at the Melvin Sports Complex and Derg Valley Leisure Centre.
The club is part of Derry City and Strabane District Council and Sport NI's Everybody Active 2020 programme, an initiative that seeks to reach out to sections of the community who wouldn't traditionally take part in physical activity to get them 'more active more often'.
The club is the brainchild of Everybody Active Coach for the Strabane area, Mark Connolly, who wanted to give local young people the best possible chance of realising their potential by giving them a grounding in the disciplines of athletics at an early age.
“The aim of the club is to introduce the youngsters to athletes and teach them the basics through exercises and games," he explained. "We try and make the classes as fun and enjoyable as possible and that makes the kids more likely to come back again.
“We try to challenge everyone but to allow them to take part at a level that suits them.
“Athletics has always been my sport and I wanted to start the young people off early so that they could get a good grounding and pick up good habits that they could take forward in their sporting life."
Mark's role with the council sees him work with a wide cross section of the community including women and girls, people with a disability, those living in areas of greatest social need, young people leaving education and those retiring from work to offer them a range of physical activity at a time and place that suits them.
Full story in this week's Strabane Weekly News...


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