Buxton scores with new football scheme

Neil Scragg of Buxton Community School and Pete Collins of the Derbyshire FA at a Just Play session at the school's 3G pitch
Neil Scragg of Buxton Community School and Pete Collins of the Derbyshire FA at a Just Play session at the school's 3G pitch

A NATIONAL scheme which is attempting to halt the decline in adult football has arrived in Buxton – and is already proving a success.

The FA Just Play initiative offers informal social football opportunities to re-engage male and female adult players and potentially give an opportunity to anyone who may not have played the game before.

Action from a Just Play session at Buxton Community School's 3G pitch

Action from a Just Play session at Buxton Community School's 3G pitch

As part of the scheme, Buxton Community School has launched an FA Just Play Centre, running every Thursday evening between 7pm and 9pm for anyone aged 16 and above. Held on the school’s new 3G pitch, it is designed to be an informal opportunity for people to play the nations game.

The pay and play scheme has already been a hit across Derby City and is now branching out into the north of the county, thanks to the support of Neil Scragg at Buxton Community School.

Neil said: “The FA Just Play scheme is an exciting project for our school.

“The project brings together pockets of communities who ordinarily would not have mixed in the same social circles, proving football to be a great leveller.

“We have workforces from local industries and academic organisations integrating and providing a basis for ongoing community relations.”

Buxton Community School has worked in partnership with Derbyshire County FA to ensure that there are exit routes for those players who may progress out of the Just Play centre and back into competitive football, whilst keeping the centre grounded to ensure it caters for those who want to continue to play in a non-competitive environment.

Pete Collins, Football Development Officer for Derbyshire County FA, said: “The FA Just Play scheme is a great way for new and old players to get back into football in a fun, social environment. The sessions are designed to cater for all abilities and provide the opportunities for players to practise their skills and find their love of the game without the pressure of playing in a competitive team.”

The scheme has already seen a great turnout from all parts of the local community, with numbers ranging from 12 to 24 in the first three weeks.

l To get involved in the Buxton Community School FA Just Play Centre, contact Neil Scragg on 01298 212162, email community@buxton.derbyshire.sch.uk or visit www.justplay.thefa.com.