Dunfermline Athletic

Pars and Tesco team up

Tesco Dunfermline has teamed up with Dunfermline Athletic Football Club, Fife Education and Children’s Services and The Pars Foundation to launch an innovative ‘Schools Engagement Strategy’.

Over the past few months the DAFC the group have been working to create a comprehensive community partnership with local primary schools in West Fife of which Tesco Dunfermline are the main sponsors.

Ross McArthur, Director of Dunfermline Athletic Football Club said: “Since Pars United CIC acquired DAFC a year ago, the board has worked hard to ensure that our football club fulfils its social obligations fully to the community of West Fife. One of our immediate goals had been to facilitate a community schools programme that would engage with local primary school children. We wanted to use the fun and enjoyment that football can provide to kids, to support children’s learning, in line with the Curriculum for Excellence.”

The three programmes – which have been specifically designed for primary school children – aim to use football as a stimulus for learning across the curriculum. A future programme for secondary school children is planned.

The first aspect of the programme ‘Pars Stars’ works to develop literacy skills of writing match reports, commentating and interviewing. The ‘Pars Tackle Your Health’ aspect looks at health, wellbeing, nutrition and exercise by outlining the day in the life of a professional footballer – stressing the importance of regular exercise, rest, diet and looking after the body. Finally, ‘Tours for Schools’ gives children the opportunity to learn about the wider employment related aspects in the world of football including business, accounting, retail, hospitality, physiotherapy, media and maintenance.

Richard Moir, Store Manager of the new Tesco Superstore, on Carnegie Drive, said: “We are really excited about our partnership with Dunfermline Athletic Football Club. As a store we are dedicated to helping our local community and so we jumped at the chance to be a part of the club’s new ‘Schools Engagement Strategy’ and to support the learning of future generations.”

Ross McArthur added: “We are delighted that Tesco has agreed to work with us and The Pars Foundation to allow the programme to be taken to local West Fife primary schools. We greatly appreciate the sponsorship offered by Tesco and we hope to be able to profile some of the youngsters’ written work in the newly opened Tesco store at the Fire Station in Dunfermline.”

At top: Store Manager Richard Moir is pictured with DAFC Director, Ross McArthur, Pars Foundation Manager, Kelly Armstrong, Dave Dawson, Gennaro Giudice, Willie Oliphant, Pitreavie Primary School Teachers Kelly Dowling & Fiona Morgan, and Primary 6 pupils Ben Sneddon, Daniel Horne, Mark Holmes, Emma Tod, Tegan Evans and Aimee Robertson outside the new Tesco Fire Station store in Dunfermline.

“DAFC is also very grateful to Dave Dawson, Gennaro Giudice and Willie Oliphant, three former school teachers who have given up a lot of their time to develop the three individual programmes, and will assist The Pars Foundation delivering these. In addition, I would like to thank Karyn Rennie and Stuart Holland both of whom are current teachers, for their invaluable support. Their combined knowledge and expertise has been invaluable. I would also like to thank Rona Maclean-Ross, Education Officer at Fife Council for her considerable support and assistance with the planning of the programmes.”

Our new schools engagement strategy actually commenced on Monday 3 November, with the "Pars Stars" programme being undertaken by Willie Oliphant at Pitreavie Primary School (Primary 6), in Miss Dowling's class. Ross McArthur, DAFC Director attended the day and commented "it was a thoroughly enjoyable day and Willie really got all of the children involved in the class room activities such as writing match reports and analysing match commentaries. It was inspiring to see the kids engaging with Willie in the exercises and how football can grab their interest, and be used as a catalyst for learning.

"Miss Dowling has a lovely class and we were all really impressed by the standard of the vocabulary used by the children. Pars players Allan Smith and Ryan Goodfellow then joined the class after lunch and played football with all of the class in the gym hall. I don't know who enjoyed it more actually, the kids or Ryan and Allan! I would really like to thank Miss Dowling and Mrs Banks (Depute Headteacher, Upper Primary, Pitreavie) for their considerable help and support this week."

To find out more about DAFC’s school programmes contact Ross McArthur at directors@dafc.co.uk

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