A MAJOR project aimed at improving the health and well-being of people across Angus was unveiled at Links Park on Saturday.
The newly formed Links Park Community Trust (LPCT), which has won backing from Montrose FC and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), hopes to use the widespread appeal of sport to inspire change locally.
But it also has the wider ambition of using facilities provided by Links Park stadium, as well as venues throughout Angus, Kincardine and the Mearns, to create hubs to advance health, education, public participation in sport, community development and the provision of recreational facilities
General manager Peter Davidson, a former head of sports science at Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Dundee United, said: “Our activities will eventually cater for all, from pre-school children to pensioners, through a range of unique multi-agency programmes.”
The charitable trust will be overseen by a four local trustees, and two staff members have developed a range of programmes including a free health checks initiative for adults between the ages of 40 and 70.
LPCT also intends to support local schools in the delivery of the Curriculum for Excellence through a range of unique educational programmes.
The Links Park Literacy Trail, Numeracy Trail, Science Trail and Health Trail provide pupils with the opportunity to complete a range of practical and theoretical tasks, whether it be outside on the football pitch or “behind the scenes” in the boardroom, manager’s office or changing rooms.
The Trust hopes to work in partnership with a number of local and national organisations including Angus Council, Aberdeenshire Council, the NHS, Scottish Football Association, the Scottish Football League and Angus College.
Mr Davidson added: “We’re delighted to be able to use the facilities on offer at Montrose Football Club to provide local children with unique educational experiences.
“Whether examining the importance of food in the production of energy for a professional footballer, exploring the role of friction on the pitch or participating in a ‘sports-science’ training session, children have to consider the important role science plays in the running of a professional football club.”
Peter is joined by fellow ex-Montrose Academy pupil and former Aberdeen FC and Montrose FC community coach Craig Ferguson as sports co-ordinator.
Montrose FC chairman Derek Sim, who is on the board of trustees said: “We have identified key programmes with which we wish to concentrate upon initially.
“Our flagship sports initiative is our Links Park Football Academy concept, which, through our Little Dribblers, Fun Fours and Soccer Sevens programmes, offers a fun introduction to the wonderful world of football”.
Although the scheme has attracted major backing from GSK it will still rely on public sponsorship to deliver its far-reaching programme.
Further information about getting involved with LPCT are available at linksparkct.org.uk while details about programme, sponsorship and volunteering are available from Peter Davidson on 07734531688 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.