8. Charity Work…
As has been a constant throughout these pieces, aiding and abetting the local community is at the forefront of the ideology and philosophy of Castle Juniors, and the club is proud to partner with local organisations and charities who do amazing and inspirational work to support those who require it.
Some of those the club works together with have enabled us to support others beyond these shores in less economically-developed countries, supplying equipment that enables children and young people to learn through football and standing by the side of those with conditions that may make certain tasks harder for them than it would others.
For instance, in 2019, club director of football Kyle Spiers ran the London Marathon, as members of the club were handed Smartie tubes to put their spare silver coins in to help donate to a worthwhile cause. That cause was supporting Epilepsy Action, aiding them in the tremendous work they do in supporting those with epilepsy and enabling them to lead a happy life through this condition which impacts the brain.
Castle Juniors has also donated extensively to supporting Clifton School, which is located next door to Bangor Sportsplex, a facility the club uses as its main training venue. They’ve long-supported young people in the local community with complex learning difficulties and special needs and assisted them academically and socially, putting them in good stead over time to prepare them for the road ahead, with a wide range of extra-curricular activities and valuable volunteers who come in to bring joy to their day.
Indeed, the relationships Castle Juniors holds with a variety of local schools, often through engaging them and their pupils in cup competitions and coaching masterclasses to keep them active, is highly treasured, and the ways in which they can develop them as people in line with their values even if they are not members to start with are proven in giving decisive life skills down the line academically and in work.
In a footballing capacity, there is the Primary Schools Cup which takes place annually as of 2017, currently contested between 24 teams. There is also a girls’ section to the competition which was incorporated in 2018 and runs concurrently. The Primary School Cup, which is free of charge to all schools, presents the opportunity for an enjoyable end-of-term bit of fun, allowing children to develop communication skills and for parents or teachers in attendance to see the benefit of sport.
Meanwhile, the club has teamed up with Bangor Elim who have been a big help in donations of kits across the water to places where the population is not as lucky as ourselves, where sadly basic necessities in life may be out of their economic reach. We have sent equipment to less economically-developed countries in Africa over several years, holding belief that football in its purest form is a way for people to socially interact and learn life skills from a young age.
While there may be barriers to their lives that are comparatively nowhere near as prevalent as in ours, Castle Juniors has held the same belief since foundation that money should not be a barrier to happiness and fun, and for this they are proud to be supporting those in countries like Swaziland and Uganda. The community ethos extends to this, showing rounded support locally and internationally through these gestures and upholding the values of partnerships in expanding club influence.
As can be seen, Castle Juniors’ partnerships across the community with many revered institutions have proved invaluable across the last decade and a half, living up to the role the club feels duty-bound to play. It is about being by the side of a wide range of people regardless of their ability on the pitch, and what a football club should be first and foremost – to be at the service of those who need it. The club is willing to go the extra mile and develop those around us as people, to be a fulcrum and a link and to support those who are committing to good causes in this vicinity.
By Lewis Bennett