Falkirk Sport, the sport and leisure arm of Falkirk Council came together to run their first ever sports summit at Falkirk Football Stadium.
Organised and ran by Falkirk Active Schools, sports development and the community sport hub officers, the event aimed to engage local coaches and volunteers and connect clubs from across the Falkirk area.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, sports clubs were badly hit across the country, and since the gradual return of sport many clubs are still dealing with the lingering aftereffects, including the drop off in volunteers numbers.
Over 20 local clubs were represented at the event, which provided clubs the opportunity to connect, develop new or existing relationships and allow support staff to work closer with the clubs to strengthen and grow club support and development in the area. The Summit was able to bring these clubs together in a friendly and open forum for clubs to share and learn from other clubs’ experiences.
The club representatives attended two separate workshops where local clubs Falkirk Fury and Falkirk Wheelers showcased their partnerships with Falkirk Sport and how this has benefitted their clubs. They were also given funding advice from local sources, the opportunity to sign up to development courses, and the time to network and share stories with other local clubs and potential interested volunteers.
The event also welcomed over 60 young people from the local high schools, colleges and university, with the event helping to showcase the fantastic opportunities and pathways Falkirk offer through becoming a volunteer sports coach or progressing into a professional career.
The young people attended two inspiring workshops, one held by current and former volunteers and the other delving into finding out more about careers in sport. The young people were also able to sign up for a variety of free courses to help with the personal development.
As a result of its success a second event is in the pipeline to be held in March.
What they said
Councillor Paul Garner, depute leader for Falkirk Council said:
“The summit provided young people a real opportunity to find out what is going on locally in sports development and coaching and hopefully we can see many more going forward with careers in this really rewarding sector.
“Sports clubs across the country were badly hit by COVID-19, however, these types of events are bringing interested groups together in order to expand participation and provide opportunities to work together across the Falkirk area in the future.
Martin Wylie, community sports hub officer for Falkirk Sport said: “The first Falkirk Sports Summit was a huge success with representation from club coaches and Active Schools Volunteers from throughout Falkirk. The aim was to bring everyone together for a chance to discuss, share and learn from one another and I feel we accomplished this. Here’s to the next one!”
Keith Bunyan, Active schools coordinator said: "The Sport Summit was a great opportunity for our young sports coaches and volunteers from all across Falkirk to see what opportunities are available to them within the wider sporting landscape in Falkirk. We hope that developing the link between volunteers and community clubs will continue to grow and strengthen both clubs and coaches in the years to come."