The half-term holidays are traditionally a busy time for the FITC Team, and while the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic meant a stripped back programme of events, there was still plenty going on.
Holiday Activities –
October half term saw Colchester United FITC engage with 180 participants across our Mini Kickers, Train Like A Pro, Harry Pell Soccer Camp and Callum Harriot Soccer Camp. We also had an additional 50 attendees at our brand new grass roots soccer camp in partnership with Notley Youth Football Club. All participants had the opportunity to participate in fun activities, win lots of fantastic trophies and all take home a CUFC gift.
Development Centre –
A busy week for both boys and girls Development Centre players, see below what they got up to across October Half Term;
Boys – Colchester United’s Development Centre players took part in a 2.5 hour training camp on Thursday 29th November, focusing on match preparation for their fixture vs Cambridge United from under 7’s to under 16’s. Throughout the camp all players were set individual and team challenges linking to our block one topic of ‘Attacking Quickly’. All players represented Colchester United very well, and were a credit to the club. Our next fixture opportunity will be in February half term where we travel to Norwich City.
Girls – Colchester United’s Girls Development Centre also took part in a training camp and fixture vs West Ham United on Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th October. We had fixtures from under 10’s to under 16’s. It was a fantastic opportunity for our girls to challenge themselves against a strong opposition. Well done to all! Our next fixture opportunity comes on Tuesday 16th February 20201 against Norwich City.
Thurstable College Programme Trials
During October half term the new players on our Thurstable Male & Female College Programmes attended our Showcase Training sessions at Shrub End. Players were given the opportunity to find out more about our Education Programme and showcase their talent in preparation for the 2020/21 season. Thurstable offers a high quality 6th form education providing players the opportunity to study for their A level and BTEC qualifications , whilst training and competing full time representing Colchester United.
NCS Autumn 2020
Throughout the half term and beyond, young people from across Colchester have been taking part in the NCS Autumn 2020 programme. During their programme they have had the opportunity to take part in team building activities at Mersea Outdoor Centre, this involved important workshops developing life skills and focusing on health and wellbeing including mental health and finally rounding this off by planning and delivering their own Social Action Project. This Autumns Social Action project has seen the young people partner with Age UK to tackle self-isolation and loneliness. A powerful and important social action project given the present circumstance. As part of their Social Action Project they have not only raised funds for Age UK but also continue to develop ways to support the elderly against social isolation and loneliness.
Holiday Hunger Activities
For those who access free school meals during term time the holiday periods can be challenging with the extra financial strain of providing food for the family. Colchester United Football in the Community have been working hard with partners to support these families for the last 5 years and we continued this work over October Half Term.
Firstly as we have done previously here at CUFITC we teamed with FirstSite Colchester to provide sports provision alongside their craft and fun activities for 2 sessions a day Monday to Friday. These activity sessions provided the opportunity for over 300 children to take part physical activity whilst receiving food for them and their families across the week.
In addition to our work with FirstSite we launched our Holiday Hunger programme funded through Active Essex where we worked directly with local schools to identify children who are in receipt of free school meals in the holiday periods. Our October provision took place at Kendall Primary School where we offered over 50 places across the week for children to access this programme.
Community Outreach Programme
Since March 2020 CUFITC have been responding to the needs of the community via our Community Outreach Programme and this continued alongside our holiday activities during October Half Term.
Our weekly telephone befriending calls took place across the week supported by Age Concern Colchester as well as our continued work with Essex Cares in the form of our Sensory Move & Mingle sessions in which we provide physical activity and social sessions for people who suffer with sensory impairment. Since these session began in the summer we have delivered over 500 minutes of physical activity as part of this programme.