Spotlight On: Queen of the South Community
Written By Admin
by Calum Woodger
This week media intern Calum Woodger spoke to Community Development Coach at Queen of the South, Daniel Armstrong, about the work his team are doing to engage 10,000 people in the local area.
Daniel shone the ‘Spotlight On’ the success of The Doonhamers’ schools programmes, innovative coaching methods and how their future looks as a charity separate from the football club.
Read on for more.
What is the overall goal of the community department at Queen of the South?
“The goal is to reach as many people as we can and get them involved in a healthy, active lifestyle. By getting them into the football club the boys and girls feel a part of Queen of the South – that’s our ultimate aim.”
What are the key programmes you run here at Queen of the South?
“Our programmes work with all age groups, from three years olds all the way to people in their 70s and 80s. Our after school clubs work with nursery and primary school kids, giving them the chance to learn new tricks and show off their talents with a football. We’re making sure all the kids in the area can enjoy football in a safe, fun environment.
“We have the Why Try programme which is a resilience education programme that shows secondary school pupils that there are options down the straight and narrow, they can take the right path or they can take the wrong path of negative behaviour. It gives secondary kids a choice.
“We have Football Fans in Training, which is run phenomenally well by the SPFL Trust. We had 29 sign up on Thursday and are looking forward to seeing the results!”
You’ve engaged nearly 10,000 people through your community football programmes and a couple of seasons ago your H2-O programme exceeded the 1000 school pupils target. What do you think is behind this?
“We manage to engage across most of Dumfries and Galloway by offering a range of programmes and activities.
“Our schools programme sees us deliver a health and wellbeing initiative across the region. We talk about about nutrition and everyday issues that pupils face, and make use of a different message from the footballers and coaches. We also run a lot of activity camps to make football accessible for kids.
“Through our H2-O programme we reached 48 schools in the region, delivering the project which is crucial in educating pupils on the importance of hydration during the school-day and the effect it has.
“The Queen of the South under 20’s do a lot of community work. They have all done their early badges and it’s a great opportunity for them to get out into the community and coach. It gives them a platform to build coaching experience and shows that if a career in the pitch isn’t for them there are other roles within the club.
“I was a player for the last three years and although unfortunately I wasn’t offered a full time contract I was offered a community development role through the coaching experience I’d gained with the u20s and the experience we get.”
Find out more about the H2-O programme here.
You’re currently transitioning from a department of the club into a charity, how is that process going?
“It’s going well, the application is progressing nicely. The club are great with the community aspect but it would just open new doors for us to venture through.”
How do you see your relationship with the SPFL Trust developing over the coming years?
“We have a really strong relationship with the Trust. It’s been great for us to work on initiatives such as the Festive Friends Christmas meal which got us involved with a new segment of the community. We look forward to continuing to build on the success of Football Fans in Training and other programs run by the Trust.”