As a passionate Bradford City FC fan it is hard to forget the Football League Cup run of the 2012-13 season as it still feels very fresh in the memory. The Bantams became the first club from the fourth tier of English football since Rochdale in 1962 to reach the League Cup final, and the first fourth tier club ever to reach a major Wembley Cup Final. The boys in claret and amber defeated three Premier League sides en route to the final; Wigan Athletic 4–2 on penalties in the fourth round, Arsenal 3–2 on penalties in the quarter-finals and Aston Villa 4–3 on aggregate over the two legs of the semi-final. They met Premier League side Swansea City in the Wembley final but finally came unstuck losing 5-0 on the night.
What you might not know about Bradford City FC is that the Community Foundation does incredible work across Bradford and the surrounding local area. Bradford City FC Community Foundation is a registered charity and a not for profit organisation, headed up by fans favourite and former cult hero of mine Ian Ormondroyd. ‘Sticks’ or ‘Stix’ as he is affectionately known is responsible for delivering a whole range of initiatives to the benefit of the Bradford Community.
I caught up with Ian recently at the Annual Marie Curie Sports Lunch held at the Midland Hotel in Bradford. Ian explained the community programme to me at length and I was sincerely impressed at some of the key areas of focus. The three areas that really caught my imagination were the following:-
The Futsal & Education Scholarship which allows talented footballers who may have dropped out of professional football academies an opportunity to pursue a Btec Level 3 Extended Diploma which is worth up to the equivalent of 3 ‘A’ Levels. Potential students have to have gained at least A-C grade at GCSE level in English and Maths. The programme acts as a perfect springboard for scholars to go on to University whilst allowing them to receive high quality football coaching along the way.
The National Citizen Service (NCS) is similar to the Duke of Edinburgh scheme in many respects. The NCS is a government funded programme for young people, which takes place outside of term-time. The NCS scheme usually takes the form of a four week programme. The first week is a residential week where young people enjoy new experiences through a variety of physical, personal and creative challenges. The young people learn leadership, communication skills and team work. The second week is a home residential week which gives the young people a chance to experience independent living. The final two weeks are centered on social action with the young people selecting a good local cause where they can make a difference. An example from previous years is to help volunteer at the Bradford Food Bank. The final two weeks allow the young people to become more socially aware about their City and forge links with their community.
Bradford Disabiltiy Football Club runs every Friday evening 6-8pm, and Sunday mornings 10-12noon at Bradford College, Trinity Green Campus. The Club is for people with learning disabilities from age 7-70 years. The Club have teams playing in West Riding Ability Counts League every month and it is a great way to meet new friends whilst enjoying playing football at whatever level.
I hope this blog has highlighted the great work that Ian and the team at the Community Foundation are doing and if you want any further information please take a look at their website; http://www.bradfordcityfitc.org.uk/
0113 207 0000