Lack of funding curtailed the activities in Spring 2000, but during the Summer the club hosted free soccer coaching in a programme aimed at deprived estates in Omagh, The Summer Soccer Camps proved to be a hit and will be top of the agenda again should funding be available.
The clubs In The Community project officer worked for two months assessing and looking into how the senior club of the West can and should develop….thus the development booklet “Into the new century”. The strategy was adopted by the club in November 2000 and since then it has been all systems go at Wick Rovers, The availability of Sports Council funding has in fact moved the programmes set out in the strategy forward by up to three years and with similar funding the programme could be totally in place and fully functional well within the timescale.
Since the launch of the strategy the Wick Rovers community project has…..
Ladies teamFormed a Women’s and Youth committee to oversee, coaching, a Ladies team etc and recruited hard working men and women committed to women’s and youth football. Their intitial programme of coaching ended in June, although they will continue to organise the Ladies squad the senior club under the banner of Wick Rovers in the Community will once again manage the youth development and coaching of young people. To that end the club are hopeful that the coaching will be taken to a new standard of excellence indeed it is needed if the current crop of young hopefuls are to progress through the ranks to senior football, however participation is also important and will always be encouraged. Club officials are currently discussing a major programme with local coaching providers to once and for all offer the best in quality coaching with a route to senior football awaiting the cream of local talent. It is hoped further Sports Council funding will once again be directed to the senior clubs to provide this.
Currently the Ladies team sit third in their respective league and have accounted themselves well in this first season.
Launched a primary and post primary schools knock-out competition in conjunction with the Western Education and Library Board for the Omagh District. The first winners of the Primary section was St Colmcilles Omagh who narrowly defeated Gillycooley P.S in the final, the senior schools contest did not take place because of foot and mouth.
Has hosted an I.F.A. mini-soccer leadership award course in Omagh for new prospective coaches.
Linked up with the community and buisiness sectors in the town.
In their new ground development building programme, included a purpose built family enclosure,.
Committed 200 free passes for adults and children for every home game last season carrying over to season 01-02, plans are well advanced to offer community groups, schools and youth clubs these free tickets once again.
Already been involved in Summer Soccer Camps during the last month after securing funding from Children In Need.
Linked up with over ten charity groups, assisting with fund raising awareness etc.
Worked hard with the I.F.A. community relations officer Michael Boyd, in all forms of community relations and the club are also one of five senior clubs selected to take part in discussions on how to take the various community and young peoples programmes on.
A full time project officer, Paddy Hunter, working daily with the In The Community programme, visiting schools, youth clubs, youth and community groups and others with an interest. (without funding) and recently appointed a youth officer to assist with match day activities within the community programme, Una Trainor being the young Lady who will look after the half-time mini-soccer, ball boys and girls and young mascots on matchdays.
Above all Wick Rovers are clear steps ahead of so many other clubs and are working hard behind the scenes and with limited publicity to enhance the game of football in Northern Ireland and at Wick Rovers.
During the year Wick Rovers In The Community will be seeking funding from the local Council, I.F.A. Sports Council, Children In Need, Co-operation Ireland. District Partnership and other funders, as well as securing local and national sponsors for the teams and programmes within the project that is Wick Rovers IN THE COMMUNITY….but its more than just football.
Away from the football, the club are looking into education programmes for youngsters and
Adults, the unemployed and people returning to work, also drug awareness for the young players and continued support for the community of Wick Rovers.
The club has received rave reviews about its “community programme” the I.F.A, The Sports Council and numerous consultants has rated the project as being the best in the country, outshining the “bigger clubs” but the work goes on with the current programmes and new ideas in the pipeline.
Project officer Paddy Hunter is hopeful that the project can grow and all the local community comes on board.
“We have seen how well our Summer Soccer Camps have been going and we want to build on those links, we will have all the kids back at games, some as ball boys and girls, some as mascots and some as new supporters as well as those who will play in the mini-games. The womens and youth committee was a success but now we must move on from that and I am hopeful we can reach agreement with other coaching providers in the town to finally have one united body and I feel their will be more money coming through for a sustained programme, all in all the future is really bright for The Town both on and off the pitch.”
Wick Rovers have long held the tradition of being a family club, no sectarian or bigoted views have ever tarnished the club at home or away.
It is a tradition that started with the original Omagh Celtic side of 1962, they have always had players, management, committee members and supporters from all religions and all walks of life and that continues today.
Religion or background should never come into sport. For too long now that has not been the case in local soccer yet Wick Rovers has steered a path away from these troubled waters.
The club encourage all local schools and groups to get involved on matchdays, they offer them passes for games, they offer coaching at their venues, they visited all communities with their Summer Soccer Camps and they try and avoid segregation within their ground as much as possible or is advised.
They are the original family club and plan to build on that over the coming years.….with the proposed family section at the ground.
Wick Rovers will offer family tickets to all games, reduced rates and special offers.
Entertainment at home fixtures could include, clowns, magicians, live pop acts, marching bands, Santa Claus and Easter Bunny.
Free goodies for children and their involvement in the coaching and academy activities.
Good facilities, a safe environment and a good team to watch.
MASCOTS & BALLBOYS/GIRLS…
Mascots at Man Utd GameThe club already encourages youngsters to be mascots for a home game, the whole set up of this can and will be improved. Kids will receive a ball signed by the two teams on the day, a photo with Wick Rovers and a bag of goodies.
The Parents will receive free passes with hospitality on the day. Its all about making everyone feel special.
Ballboys and Girls are currently supplied by various clubs and schools. This can be built upon..a school, club or community group could supply teams of ballboys girls for a month at a time. A team of eight per game, each receives a tee shirt and a members pass for all the other games of the season.
The group or school that supplies the team receive passes throughout the year to encourage them to be involved.
At the end of the season all teams could take part in a mini tournament on the pitch, again making it special for all those who took part.