Community trust is launched

Published: 27 Feb 2013 12:000 comments

MORTON have unveiled the first social inclusion project in their ambitious attempts to put the club at the heart of Inverclyde with the newly-established Greenock Morton Community Trust.

BRIGHT FUTURE: Morton players Thomas O'Ware and Peter Weatherson and Ton youth coach Peter Dunn launch the new scheme at Newark Nursery.

The community trust is the coming together of the football club and the Greenock Morton Supporters' Trust to form a registered charity.

Their aim is for the organisations to work under one umbrella to deliver community football and social inclusion programmes for people of all ages on behalf of the football club.

In the coming weeks, months and years the GMCT aim to develop and deliver a range of innovative programmes to engage with, and ultimately benefit, the people of Inverclyde.

The Mini Morton initiative is their first project and launches next week, on Tuesday 5 March, and runs for an initial four-week block at a cost of £3.50 per session.

Children between ages four and nine will have the opportunity to train with Morton's first-team stars and academy coaches with the focus on participation for all.

The Greenock Morton Community Trust is the brainchild of consultant for club development Warren Hawke.

He explained: "When I came back to Morton I identified some key areas in which I felt we could improve as a club.

"As I have said before, the number one priority was to address the youth system and create an elite youth academy, which we have worked incredibly hard on and now have in place. The second area was to engage more with the local community and ensure the club is a focal point for people of Inverclyde.

"We want to reach out to our local community and ensure there is an interaction between the club and the people that goes beyond watching or supporting the club on a matchday.

"To do that we decided we would aim to implement outreach programmes for the people of the area using the Morton name. We want to help address social issues and give something back.

"With that in mind we created the Greenock Morton Community Trust, which is a charitable organisation formed by a coming together of the football club and the Greenock Morton Supporters' Trust. As a charity registered with the Office of Scottish Charities Register, we are governed in accordance with charitable law.

"We have a board of four trustees - Crawford Rae, Stuart Rae, Nick Robinson and Chris McCorkindale - who will oversee the strategic development of the Trust and ensure it meets our operational objective to create social inclusion projects for people of all ages.

"We aren't trying to re-invent the wheel. I've taken the best practices I've seen at other clubs and looked to implement them here. Morton is a local institution in Inverclyde and we realise we can make such a difference in the area - and it's something we are determined to do."

Turning to the upcoming first project, he added: "Mini Morton has been developed to ensure that children between the ages of four and nine have access to training sessions from a young age.

"The initiative comes as a direct result of funding created by the Scottish Government's sponsorship of this season's Scottish Communities League Cup. Among the sponsorship's aims is the continued development of football clubs' local community engagement programmes covering health and other areas."

"With Mini Morton we want to engage with young kids and help start them on the road to a healthy adult life by introducing them to physical activity at a young age.

"These will not be elite training sessions but all-inclusive sessions focusing on enjoyment and participation rather than excellence.

"The courses last four weeks and costs £14, which works out at only £3.50 per session which we believe is a reasonable price for the benefits each child will reap. We aim to make the sessions fun and professional and to that end we will have regular appearances from first-team players, while all sessions will be run by our youth academy coaches.

"There are still some spaces available, and for anyone wishing to register their child they can do so by visiting the club during office hours or downloading a form from www.mortoncommunity.net."

Mini Morton: Age 4-6 years: Tuesday 5 March (5pm - 6pm) at Clydeview Academy [indoor].

Age 7-9 years: Wednesday 6 March (6pm - 7pm) at Inverclyde Academy [indoor].

Age 4-6 years: Thursday 7 March (4pm - 5pm) at Newark Primary School [indoor].

Age 7-9 years: Thursday 7 March (5pm - 6pm) at Newark Primary School [indoor].

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