SILKY skills were brought to Wharf Green by Wiltshire County FA as football was given its outing as a part of inSwindon’s Common-wealth Games bonanza.
The town centre management firm has been running a series of sporting workshops under the big screen whilst the Glasgow games are broadcast to shoppers.
Since last Wednesday, when the opening ceremony took place, golf, athletics, roller derby, basketball, rugby, hockey and American football have all had their day in the sun.
Led by Kirk McGinn, a skills coach with the FA, a team of officers invited five to 11-year-olds from Highworth Town Juniors and Lydiard Millicent Juniors to take part in a variety of scenarios.
Kirk said: “We have linked in with the county FA to pass on a skills showcase for the kids here. We have used it to show them what we plan to do around the county.
“The two clubs were invited by us to come down, but we have allowed those who have turned up on the day to have a play too.
“We are just trying to get people to engage with this sport and others. You might use your feet in football, but those movements you use can be turned to other activities too.
“The majority of kids in the whole of Wiltshire, not just here today, are really receptive when it comes to these workshops.
“They seem keen to develop and are aware of why they need to develop. Some of the comments we have had in recent times have been focused on why girls haven’t been involved.
“Since we have come in, girls have shown more of an interest in playing.”
The sun beat down on the patch of artificial grass set up for the youngsters in front of the screen, but Kirk said there was nobody struggling with the heat, other than the instructors themselves.
There will be cooler chances for youngsters to make the most of the skills coaching offered by the county FA on August 4 and 11 at the futsal arena on the Techno Trading Estate.
Amongst the drills put on by the coaches were ones covering recognising space in matches, when to run into space and when to back off.
There was also a match in play which merited teams winning the ball higher up the pitch in the opposition’s half.
Two of those involved from Highworth Town Juniors were Kaylee Weaving, 11, and Erin Hemsley, eight, who will attend Crowdys Hill School and Nythe Primary School respectively in September.
Kaylee said: “I had lots of friends here today from the same team, which made it more fun.
“I liked having something different to do than just matches.”
Erin said: “It was nice to do something different. We were trying to win the ball back and score from higher up the pitch.”