A YOUTH football team in Cumbernauld have pioneered a fresh approach to sport by making their club open to all.
Newly established Antonine Athletic are looking for a new batch of 10 to 14-year-old players to join their squad.
And the outfit has made an attempt to break down the financial barriers which can exclude some families from being involved in such an organisation.
Sport by its nature can often be an expensive pastime and participation in a football team can be particularly costly when the accumulated price of aspects such as strips, football boots, transport and membership fees are all taken into account.
However, the local side is looking to combat that finance barrier by introducing free transport to training sessions and matches, as well as reduced membership fees and even free loan strips and equipment.
Members will also get the chance to try their hand at a range of other sports into the bargain.
Antonine Athletic secretary Heather McLean told the News and Chronicle: “We are concerned that lots of young people are excluded from club membership as their families are unable to afford monthly training fees and the costs of strips and transport.”
“We aim to make Antonine Athletic FC open to all young people irrespective of their circumstances and especially those 10 to 14-year-olds whose families face financial hardship and as a result are excluded from existing clubs.”
The club also intends to integrate youngsters into other sporting and social outings, from kayaking on the Forth and Clyde Canal, to rock climbing at Auchinstarry – and all for free.
Heather added: “While football remains our core activity we want to provide members with opportunities to experience other health promoting, confidence-building activities, to increase their self esteem and also widen their horizons and opportunities.
“As well as a comprehensive programme of other spring and summer outdoor activities during the winter months, members will also be able to try their hand at badminton, basketball, film making and a great deal more besides.”
Antonine Athletic are currently recruiting players in the age bracket of 10-14 in Cumbernauld, Kislyth and the surrounding areas.
For further information on Antonine Athletic please get in touch with Heather McLean on 01236820537 or 07854005392.