Owen Coyle and his backroom staff were given a behind the scenes tour of the Wigan Youth Zone earlier this month, before taking an hour-long training session with pupils from Deanery High School and young people involved in the Train With Latics programme organised by Wigan Athletic Community Trust.
Chairman Dave Whelan was on hand to show Coyle around the impressive facility which includes amongst many activities, a climbing wall, boxing gym, dance and music studios, beautician workshop and state of the art outdoor football pitches.
Once the tour had finished Coyle, Sandy Stewart, Graham Barrow, Phil Hughes and John Henry put their boots on to offer their advice to the group of 14 and 15 years olds from Deanery High and 16 – 18 year olds from the Community Trust.
Speaking with pride at what the growth and success of the Youth Zone, Whelan said: “The number of memberships we’ve had in the short time we’ve been open is fantastic, and it’s great to see so many kids from around the area, and the country, come along to enjoy the brilliant facilities we’ve got on offer here.
“We’ve had local council groups from Newcastle and London visit to see what ideas they can introduce into their communities and the Prime Minister was so inspired by the project that he wants to put his support behind more clubs like this around the country.”
Impressed with the facility, and the talent he coached on the football pitch, Latics boss Coyle added:
“This was my first visit to the Youth Zone and I’m blown away by what the Chairman has given back to the Community here in Wigan, it’s an incredible facility that any town or city would be proud to call its own.
“Football is my big passion of course, and to get out onto the pitch with the young lads and enjoy ourselves was brilliant. We all love the game and once you have the ball at your feet you feel like a big kid again, so we enjoyed ourselves and I’m sure the pupils who came along enjoyed using the facility.
“I have to say, I genuinely felt there was some very good talent in the two groups we coached and having somewhere like the Youth Zone to come and play football after school hours will be of massive benefit to them.”
The Train with Latics programme Trust gives young people the chance to study for BTEC Level 2 in sport while training alongside coaches from Wigan Athletic Community Trust.
For more information about this programme please contact Dan Bathgate on 01942 488 530 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Community Trust organises football coaching and tournaments at the Wigan Youth Zone throughout the week. For more information please contact Ian Gaskell on 01942 612 061 or e-mail email@example.com