The first game of the year seems a good time to reflect on Hartlepool United Community Sports Foundation's achievements in 2023, as we look to build and make 2024 even more successful.
We have continued to work within many local schools, engaging with thousands of pupils in a variety of ways, both in and out of the classroom. We have supported schools with PE lessons and after-school clubs, as well as engaging pupils in numeracy, literacy and PSHE lessons using the Premier League Primary Stars. PLPS has also enabled us to provide CPD to teachers who are keen to build their skills and confidence in the delivery of primary school PE.
We have helped seven schools to raise thousands of pounds each through our sponsored penalty competition, giving pupils the opportunity to meet H’Angus, get active and raise money for their schools while securing themselves a number of Hartlepool United goodies. We have also provided opportunities for local schools to play on the pitch here at the Suit Direct Stadium.
We have continued to work with The Twinning Project and have expanded our offer to HMP Holme House by being selected to join the pilot of the Twinning Literacy Project. This means we can now not only provide an opportunity for prisoners to complete a Level 1 in football coaching, but also utilise the power of football to engage prisoners to complete a Level 1 literacy qualification. We are proud to have been selected to deliver this, as one of only six football clubs in the UK.
In addition to this, we have proudly continued the delivery of our Women’s Hub and our Fit Fans sessions, both of which have huge health, physical and social benefits to our users. We have engaged more than 100 local adults within these groups.
Kicks has continued to be a big part of our delivery; over 100 local children aged between 8-15 have been able to simply turn up and play football, regardless of ability and experience. This has saw many players improve their fitness and football skills while forging new friendships with other children from different schools. Many of the players have joined local teams off the back of our Kicks sessions.
Disability football and walking football continued to be important to us in 2023, providing football opportunities for those who may not want or be able to access mainstream groups. Through a shared love of the game, we are proud to have been able to play a part in getting so many adults back on the pitch and this offer is something which we will strive to expand in 2024.
Away from football and sport, our Monday morning weekly foodbank has seen us support hundreds of families on a short and longer-term basis during what has been a difficult year financially for Hartlepool and beyond. We are always looking for donations of non-perishable items to allow us to continue doing this, and we would appreciate any support that the Pools’ fans can offer.
We are always grateful for the support of the club and first team squad, and this was no different in 2023. We had more than 50 player appearances at a variety of events and sessions which enabled local adults and children to meet their footballing heroes.
Thank you to all those who have engaged with the charity in 2023. Here’s to a successful 2024 on and off the pitch!