East Kilbride Community Trust are please to announce that they will be assisting the popular Move the Goalposts initiative to allow a Community League made up of teams from areas targeted by the initiative to be operated at the trust’s K-Park Stadium located within Calderglen Country Park, East Kilbride on a Friday evening.
Monique McAdams, Chief Executive, East Kilbride Community Trust said “The East Kilbride Community Trust is very pleased to host the Move the Goal Posts at K-Park Training Academy. This is a fantastic initiative and we are honoured to be involved in this partnership. A lot of hard work has been done so far to make a difference and help the community and we intend to further compliment this by working tightly with all the current partners.”
Move the Goalposts is an award winning multi-partnership diversionary initiative targeting ‘hot spot’ areas. It utilises football as a ‘tool’ to divert young people from gang participation, acts of violence, antisocial behaviour and alcohol and drug misuse. It also encourages young people, parents and residents to help create an improved sense of wellbeing in their communities. Move the Goalposts has operated 4 nights per week, Thursday to Sunday, 50 weeks per year since October 2008.
Eddie Smith, Divisional Commander, South Lanarkshire Policing Division said ‘Move the Goalposts is an excellent initiative that enlists the support of a wide variety of partners. It has exceeded all expectations and now plays an important role in assisting individuals and communities to develop, work together and achieve sustainable goals. The initiative has been recognised nationally, receiving 2 prestigious awards which further highlight the important work Move the Goalposts and its partners are able to achieve in our communities. The Choose Life Community Leagues continue to play an integral part in the sustainability of the initiative.’
Areas are targeted for a minimum of 12 weeks, to break down barriers, build trust levels and to introduce partners and other alternatives. 16 local communities are targeted each year.
Youth related crime and incidents have been reduced by up to 82%, with an average reduction of 48.6%. These reductions are not only limited to the night of activity but also has an effect on the other peak times (Thurs-Sun). Up to 125 young people attend each night.
Move the Goalposts has exceeded all expectations in relation to attendance and crime reduction and acts as a focal point for each community to meet and become stronger, resilient and more understanding to others problems. Move the Goalposts expanded its remit to develop new partnerships and alternatives whilst encouraging and supporting the formation of community groups. One such group CUPI from the Greenhills area of East Kilbride was formed by parents and residents. They now meet every Friday with over 175 young people attending weekly.
Councillor Jean McKeown, Chair, South Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership said
‘The South Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership has been supportive of the Move the Goalposts for many years. Its proven ability to make a real difference to the numerous communities it targets and in particular on the lives of those attending has been exceptional. I am delighted that East Kilbride Community Trust is able to offer the initiative the use of such an impressive facility.’
The initiative has not rested on its laurels and continually seeks new ways to develop to the benefit of attendees and their communities. A wide variety of partners are now able to offer additional interventions, information, advice or signposting. Numerous activities such as badminton, basketball, beauty therapy, skiing and mountain climbing have been undertaken by attendees. Several attendees have gone onto further education, obtained qualifications, participated in training opportunities and obtained employment. A new portable pitch has recently been purchased allowing partners to highlight important messages on kickboards within communities.
A ‘Choose Life Community League’ for over 16’s has been running for 3 years and operates every Tuesday evening from 7pm-9pm. Teams participate in 7 a-side football matches helping to aid sustainability whilst breaking down territoriality and sectarian barriers. Over 90 young people attend each week with all results going towards league positions. The top 6 teams’ participate in end of season play-offs to decide the overall winners with trophies and medals presented.
Isobel McCarthy, Choose Life Coordinator for South Lanarkshire said ‘Choose Life is extremely happy to support the Move the Goalposts initiative. I have attended at the community league on several occasions and observed how Move the Goalposts and the coaches make a lasting difference in the lives of attendees. Move the Goalposts greatly assists in breaking down barriers and targeting sectarian issues. The change in attendees’ health and wellbeing is nothing but staggering.’
Due to numerous requests by the young people and residents, an under 16’s league was introduced approximately a year ago to compliment the existing league for young people over 16 years. This has proved so successful that a decision was made to establish 2 nights of Community League activity to meet increasing demand from attendees.
Move the Goalposts recently approached East Kilbride Community Trust have kindly agreed to allow the initiative to use their top class facilities at K-Park Stadium on Friday evenings. This new league for over 16’s commenced on Friday 28 September and will operate weekly throughout the year. The under 16’s league will continue to operate on a Tuesday evening. The trust is also keen to work alongside Move the Goalposts in a wide variety of activities over the coming months.