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Get Onside with Clyde

Thu, 2nd Jun 2016 8:47pm

It was a big day yesterday at Broadwood as it marked the conclusion of Clyde's Get Onside project, which has been running in recent weeks. This programme is open to adults with severe and enduring mental health issues, as well as those with learning difficulties, who have a love of football.

The project is delivered in partnership with Heartfelt Ltd and Ceartas and supported through the funding of the Scottish Football Partnership and the Scottish Government's Right to Transition Fund. The project gives the participants a chance to meet up with other football fans and socialise in a friendly environment. A typical session consists of classroom style talks about valuable skills such as decision making and on-the-pitch action where the coaches deliver interactive drills which allow learning in a more practical situation.

David Douglas, chief executive of Clyde and Heartfelt Ltd, who are one of the organisations that developed the Get Onside concept, said: "We ran our first Get Onside course between a year and a half and two years ago and now, as well as Clyde, we've also run it with Kilmarnock FC, Airdrie FC, Hibernian FC and Falkirk FC."

Football isn't the only sport which Get Onside uses to help those looking to get involved. David continued, "We've also developed Get Onside rugby with the Scottish Rugby Union, which we do at Murrayfield, and we've developed Get Onside cricket which we do with Stenhousemuir Cricket Club."

David was also excited for the future, giving an insight into the plans for the project going forward: "Firstly, we'll be continuing to develop Get Onside courses like the one currently going on at Broadwood with a mixed batch of football clubs across Scotland. I think the second part is sustainability, looking at how we can add value at the end of the course for those involved."

David also mentioned an upcoming event involving all the Get Onside teams from around the country: "The other exciting thing we're going to be doing is with Kilmarnock, who are going to host a football tournament where it's going to involve all of the Get Onside teams playing against one another. We'll use that to promote good messages about the social care services and hopefully those involved enjoy themselves."

One of the young people involved with the program is Craig. His mother said:  "Craig found out about the project through his speech and language therapist last November for the Get Onside program that was on at Airdrie and it was one of the best things he's ever really got involved in. We were told at the end that it was being done here and we couldn't wait for April to come so we could get involved in this. Just the way it's helped his confidence and the self-direct support side as well.

"It's been ten out of ten for effort from everyone involved. It's been amazing, totally amazing."

As the day progressed the group made their way inside for some pizza and cake along with the presentation of certificates from Barry Ferguson and Bob Malcolm. At the conclusion of the day William, who is a veteran participant of the Get Onside initiative, said: "I've been involved with projects like these for a couple of years now, I've been to a number of different ones. The fact that Barry Ferguson and Bob Malcolm are involved was a big catch. The football is also a big benefit as it gets people out and about and we get the chance to play on the Broadwood pitch."

Overall, the project has received rousing reviews from all involved and many are looking forward to the future of the project. To find out more about Get Onside, visit ceartas.org.uk or email [email protected].