St Mirren welcomes young people to club as ball attendants


ST Mirren has kicked off a new programme that is welcoming young people into the club as new ball attendants for the season.

Two young people from Kibble, a national child and youth care charity based in Paisley, scored their new roles as part of the football club’s focus on providing opportunities for the local community.

The youngsters have already helped out at the club’s game against Motherwell Football Club and will act as ball attendants for the next four home games at the club’s SMiSA stadium, soon to be followed suit by fellow Kibble young people. 

As well as providing support for the Buddies as they enter the new season, the hours accumulated on the pitch will also count as voluntary work which will add towards the participating young people’s Saltire and Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

St Mirren FC and Kibble joined forces in 2020 through a partnership which saw the charity purchase a 27.5% stake in the local football club. The agreement is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK as the only league team that is owned by its fans, the St Mirren Independent Supporters Trust (SMISA), and run in partnership with a major charity.

The initiative provides a steady stream of valuable work and life experience for Kibble’s young people, giving them the opportunity to learn within a real, thriving business that caters to around 5,000 avid football supporters through its turnstiles at each match. 

Young people are given training and experience within front of house roles through these placements, working within the hospitality suites, in addition to learning about maintenance of the facilities and supporting the needs of the Scottish Premiership club. 

The new ball attendant position puts the young people at the heart of the game – an incredibly exciting opportunity for those involved.

One of the young people involved in the initiative said: “I’m looking forward to being involved in the action at the games. It’s great to be part of a Premiership Football team and to learn more about what happens behind the scenes at the club. Not many would get the chance to call this work.”

As a national charity providing specialist care and education for at risk young people, Kibble aims to provide a chance at life for those in its care, going above and beyond to equip young people with the skills, experience and qualifications to forge their own path.

Jim Gillespie, CEO of Kibble and board director at St Mirren FC, said: “We have been working in tandem with St Mirren FC since the partnership began to develop fresh ways to offer our young people the opportunity to learn and grow within a thriving local business. 

“The ball assistant roles are an ideal way to not only help them gain this experience, but also encourage engagement and capture interest from the young people involved.

“Through each of the initiatives created with St Mirren, we strive to give our young people the chance to try something new, providing real value to their lives and futures, in addition to strengthening links with the local community and supporting the St Mirren team in the long run.”

Keith Lasley, COO of St Mirren, said: “This is an excellent initiative for the young people at Kibble to experience the buzz of match days at St Mirren, whilst earning valuable volunteering hours.

“It showcases the partnership between Kibble and St Mirren, and allows us to develop further opportunities to make a difference to the future of young people.”


Source link