Wigan Athletic Community Trust run various sports participation projects at Wigan Youth Zone every week.
- Wigan Youth Zone is located in the town centre and opened in 2013.
- Latics run sports programmes for youngsters at the facility each week.
- Visit the Family Zone on Saturday to enjoy the Youth Zone’s ‘Big Day Out.’
Wigan Athletic and Wigan Athletic Community Trust have played an instrumental role in Wigan Youth Zone life since the centre first opened five years ago.
Latics Owner and Life President, Mr Whelan, was a driving force behind the opening of the facility, which allows 8-19 year olds from across the borough the chance to meet friends, have new experiences, learn skills and access the support needed to develop and achieve their potential.
Indebted to Latics is Anthony Ashworth-Steen, Wigan Youth Zone Executive Director, who highlights the positive impact the club have had on the Youth Zone’s members over the past five years, with many of them set to be present at their ‘Big Day Out’ at the DW Stadium on Saturday, an event which will see representatives from the charity lead on pre-match activities in the Family Zone.
He said: “Ever since Wigan Youth Zone opened there’s been a strong connection between the Youth Zone and the football club. Mr Whelan was obviously vital in the opening of the facility, so like I say we’ve had strong links with Latics right from the outset.
“As part of our association with the club we have a very strong relationship with the Community Trust, and have a designated Football Officer based here at Wigan Youth Zone, while various other members of staff from the Trust are on site most days running various sports sessions."
Just some of the programmes the Community Trust run at Wigan Youth Zone are Premier League Kicks, the Every Player Counts disability sports programme and the Pathway 2 Participation mentoring scheme, all of which support the needs of young people living across Wigan.
“Generally in Wigan the community feel of the town is very positive and one of the first things that struck me when I moved here was how much of a role the Community Trust plays in that.
“The club are obviously central to it all and have a rich history in terms of success, so for the young people to be able to connect with various coaches representing Latics is massive for them.
“That close association with the club and the feeling of being part of something special can only be a good, positive thing for the youngsters we work with.”
A purpose built, state-of-the-art youth facility, Wigan Youth Zone is open to all young people across Wigan aged 8 to 21, striving to offer something for everyone, regardless of their interests or abilities.
“We give an opportunity for all young people to come somewhere that is safe and somewhere where they know they can have a chat with anyone about anything.
“We have staff who are positive role models in the lives of so many youngsters so what inspires me is that I can see we’re changing the lives of people for the better, day in, day out.
“Wigan Youth Zone is a very fun place to be, but that fun should never be misconstrued that it’s not serious because we’re doing serious work here. Over the last five years we’ve had some great results, and just like Latics we’d like to continue having positive results going forward.”
Visit www.wiganyouthzone.org to find out more about Wigan Youth Zone.