Derry summer scheme success

Some of the young people at the DCSDC summer scheme in Templemore Sports Complex this week.
Some of the young people at the DCSDC summer scheme in Templemore Sports Complex this week.

A new scheme aimed at educating teenagers and keeping them fit over the summer is currently taking place at Templemore Sports Complex.

It’s the first time such a scheme has been by organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) especially for young people aged between 12 and 14 years-old.

The scheme will be in its fourth week when it opens its doors again on Monday morning and will run for a further three weeks.

It costs £15 per week per child and runs Monday to Friday from 11am to 1pm.

“It’s really nice to be able to still get a bit of lie on,” says 12 year-old Emilie Hagan from Culmore.

“The thing I like about this scheme the most is that it actually gives young people my age something to do over the summer months. I’ve met a lot of new friends and my favourite activity is the spin class.”

Young people from all over Derry and further afield are taking part and 14 year-old Jamie Harnett from Eglinton said it was a great way to spend the summer.

“I’ve been coming here for a few weeks and I have met a stack of new friends. Not only do we get to do sports like football, cycling and swimming there is the chance to try our hands at some art and crafts too. I am going on my summer holidays next week but I would be lying to you if I didn’t say I was going to miss everyone.”

Templemore Sports Complex Service Manager, Tommy McCallion is also the co-ordinator of the scheme and he said he was not prepared for how successful the programme has become.

“To be honest with you we were only expecting about a handful of young people to come along. We currently have 170 in our age six to 11 group but we have over 30 young people in our 12 to 14 group. We started this scheme out as a pilot and it has grown over the last few weeks.

“A lot of the young people who are coming here are children of people who use the centre but we want to hear from as many young people as possible. As long as the interest is there over the summer we will continue to put on the programmes for the young people.”

The young people spend two hours a day from Monday to Friday trying different sports and learning new things. One of the most interesting aspects of the scheme is that they are given the chance to experience other cultures.

“We received some funding from Good Relations and that meant that we were able to bring people in from the Filipino, African and Indian communities to talk to the young people. They learned about all of these other cultures through arts and crafts.”

If you would like more information about the DCSDC summer scheme for children aged between 12 and 14 telephone Tommy McCallion on 028 71289200.