The Origins of Astley & Buckshaw Junior Football Club
Councillor Mark Perks, project coordinator for residents’ group “Astley Village Action” submitted a bid to the Football Foundation back in 2004, for setting up a football development programme to run in the village. The aim was to provide opportunities for young people in the village and surrounding area to take up football and to establish a local football club and with a number of teams.
Astley Village on the outskirts of Chorley, lacked sport facilities and offered few opportunities for young people to take up sport of any kind. This problem was further highlighted in the Autumn of 2004 when the popular Youth Club was closed. This was a very big disappointment to many young people in the village who attended the Monday evening club and had come to rely on the club for activities and opportunities.
The Football Foundation awarded the group £5,500 in May 2004 and plans were put in place to start up a Junior and Youth Football Club, and Astley Village Junior Football Club was formed. Based on the ages for participants of the sessions held at the Youth Club Mark was able to determine which teams would be the first to be developed. With the closure of the Youth Club and the loss of the Lancashire Youth and Community Services input, Mark and his colleagues from Astley Village Action decided it would more beneficial to begin by aiming the programme at 6 to 11 year olds.
During the first year 73 coaching and training sessions were provided in the form of Saturday morning coaching / mini games sessions, school holiday football activities and football outreach delivered at three local primary schools. Over 1000 young people attended one or more of the activities organised.
The Football Foundation award had begun to make real positive changes in the community, proving football can play a fundamental role in building a sustainable society and forming strong links with communities. The programme has also added to the wider dimension, in the aim of starting to meet local needs in areas such as health, regeneration and social cohesion.
Astley & Buckshaw Junior Football Club as its now know due to the recent development of Buckshaw Village now has over 220 members and from Under 14 downwards has two teams in each age group ensuring a strong future for the club