Over 80 young Peak footballers had a taste of what it’s like to be a professional footballer thanks to a tournament hosted by Hope Construction Materials.
The company’s chairman Amit Bhatia is also vice-chairman and co-owner of Queens Park Rangers.
QPR, recently relegated from the Premier League, have a very active programme of supporting community projects around its Loftus Road ground in London, but it was through this association with Mr Bhatia that Hope was able to ‘borrow’ four top flight QPR coaches to travel up from London and come along to Hope Works in the Hope Valley.
The coaches, Stephen McCarthy, James Staunton, Danny Harrigan and Conor McBrearty, spent time with local under-8s, under-9s and under-10s.
They ran the youngsters through a series of football skills drills and were supported by members of the Hope Works’ team who are also trained local football coaches.
The afternoon of coaching and training culminated in a mini football tournament between teams from Bradwell, Tideswell, Eyam, Baslow, Bakewell and Buxton.
The winning teams were Bradwell under-8’s and Baslow’s under-10’s.
One of the organisers of the event, Hope Works’ Danny Roberts said the event was a hugely memorable occasion.
“What a unique opportunity this was for these young boys and girls,” he said.
“They were a bit in awe of having time and attention from these professional coaches who have worked with many Premier League players.
“They made the most of the coaching they received and showed off what they had learned in the tournament.
“It was fantastic to see so many young local footballers come together for this event.
“We look forward to hearing how the QPR influence helps them next season.”
During the event, High Peak MP Andrew Bingham came along to offer his support.
He said: “I was delighted to attend and it was fantastic to see all the youngsters getting involved, and to have QPR coaches there gave the event a real buzz.”