A BUSY half-term for the Swindon Town Football in the Community Trust staff included several festivals, development holiday courses and the arrival of Premier League outfit Swansea City in Wiltshire.

Over 100 girls turned out at Croft Sports Centre to kick off the week, as with Town’s under 19 girls organised a 12-team tournament to raise funds ahead of their trip to the Gothia World Youth Cup in Sweden this summer.

In difficult conditions some excellent football was played by girls between the ages of six and 13. Wantage Town and Dorcan Rangers won their respective age groups and received their medals from Carl McCulloch, who was representing the girls development sponsors TRAK Employment Solutions Ltd and Verelogic IT Solutions.

Next up over the course of a hectic seven days were the STFC fun weeks, which took place at St Joseph’s School and Ashton Keynes Football Club. The cold snap did not discourage over 200 children attending the popular events, where children had the opportunity to meet their Robins first-team idols, receive top quality coaching and embark on the County Ground tour.

Football in the Community manger Clive Maguire said: “The children have been amazing this week, braving the weather. We are extremely grateful to Thamesdown Transport who ferried our younger children to inside venues this week, ensuring that they stayed warm so they could enjoy the experience.”

Swindon midfielder Simon Ferry presented awards to the children on the County Ground pitch at the end of the week.

Elsewhere, the STFC and Swindon Borough Council girls’ Centre of Excellence entertained Swansea at Swindon Academy this week, with all six age groups from the under 10s to the under 19s in action.

Shane Hewlett, who coordinates the programme, said: “We have been so impressed with how quickly our girls are developing, and playing teams such as Spurs, Swansea and Reading have been real eye-openers for our players.”

From July the STFC FITC Centre of Excellence is looking to expand, taking on additional age groups at under 14 and under 16 level. Interested girls should contact Shane Hewlett on 01793 617718 or via email at Shane@stfc-fitc.co.uk.