Torbay Council is pleased to announce the launch of JustPlay ParkGames in partnership with the Friends of Upton Park, Torquay United Football in the Community and the Devon Football Association.

JustPlay ParkGames is a free sporting initiative for young people taking place during school holidays. Starting on Wednesday 5 August 2015 until the 2 September 2015, JustPlay ParkGames will take place every Wednesday in Upton Park, Lymington Road, Torquay, from 4pm to 5pm.

All sessions are free and will culminate in an activities fun day on Monday 24 August, 1pm to 5pm, where the park will be taken over by an inflatable football pitch and speed gun goal.

The aim of JustPlay ParkGamesis to provide young people with the opportunities they are often seeking such as the chance to enjoy physical activity, aspiring to greater things and giving back to their communities. This enthusiasm often leads to an increase in sports participation and the recognition of the enjoyment that can be gained from taking part in sport and physical activity.

ParkGames is a spin-off from Torbay’s popular StreetGames programme which offers sport and physical activities to young people on their doorsteps. Both programmes bring sport and physical activity to disadvantaged communities at the right time, for the right price, to the right place and in the right style.

In addition to ParkGames, three StreetGames Doorstep Sports clubs are also being delivered across the Bay, in Ellacombe, Plainmoor and Parkfield, each delivering multi-sport activities.

Days and times of the clubs are as follows:

Ellacombe Wednesdays, 4:30pm – 6:30pm. meet at TQ Together, Market Street
Plainmoor Mondays, 3pm – 4pm. meet at Plainmoor Community Pool
Parkfield Thursdays, 7:30pm – 8:30pm

Torbay Council’s Executive Lead for Sport, Councillor Robert Excell, said: “It is great to support initiatives like ParkGames which enable and inspire young people to participate in a range of sports in Torbay. Providing these opportunities shows Torbay Council’s ongoing commitment to develop physical activity within the community and deliver a variety of fun activities.”

Chris Thomas, Chairman of The Friends of Upton Park, said: “We are delighted to welcome JustPlay ParkGames to our local area. This programme will provide a programme of free sporting opportunities for young people during the school holidays.

“Hosting these activities is a fantastic opportunity for Upton Park. I have been extremely impressed with the help and advice given by Torbay Council, Torquay United FC and Devon Football Association all of which has enabled us to stage these organised fun sports through the summer break.

“It will be great to welcome Torquay United down into the heart of the town and maybe help nurture some future talent. We are also pleased to support Upton Social Club, which is running a free fun mini-soccer session for accompanied 5 to 8 year olds on Saturday mornings from 10.30am to 12.30pm.”

Howard Shaddick, Football Development Officer at the Devon FA, said: “No matter what level you reach there is nothing better than having a game of football with your mates and this programme gives teenagers the opportunity to take control and play football recreationally on their terms.

“Joining a team or club is not always the most accessible option to young people, what this project will enable is open opportunities where young people can turn up and play, in a safe environment managed by professional football coaches. Tackling the issues of youth participation is vital for the future good of the game.

“Working alongside Torquay United & Torbay Council, we are determined to utilise projects like this to make a significant impact on the dropout rates with this age group.”

The Friends of Upton Park is a long established group of volunteers who represent the interests of local residents, businesses and visitors by working with the council to ensure that the park is a safe, well maintained, and a welcoming place. For more information visit www.friendsofuptonpark.org.uk



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