Barrow AFC Community Trust are currently running their Easter Holiday Programme at Furness College and they have proved to be extremely popular.

The sessions during its first week attracted up to 50 children aged 5-11, with the Bluebirds’ community coaches able to take them through a wide range of activities and help them improve their footballing skills.

Considering the short turnaround since AFC ran their February Holiday Programme, it’s quite an achievement that they’ve been able to get such a high level of attendance, with some even booked across the full two weeks.

One of the big aims has been for the kids to get as many touches of the ball as possible, with that aspect believed to be a vital aspect in their enjoyment.

Community coach Kane Fitch said: “In general, it’s just been mainly developing them as people, as much as their football skills, because that’s really important to us.

“Obviously, our ethos at the moment is ‘more than just a football club,’ so it’s going through skills such as communication, teamwork and trying to help other people, really. We then come into the football skills part of it – your passing, dribbling, shooting, all of the vital things for football.

“We also play plenty of matches and plenty of fun shooting games, which the kids love, and obviously with the younger ones it’s about tailoring it a little bit so that everyone is involved.”

The programme is the latest scheme from Barrow AFC’s Community Trust department, which has rapidly grown in profile in the last year under head of community Craig Rutherford, who is also involved with the Bluebirds’ first-team.

This not just includes courses during school holidays and weekends, but also getting involved with local schools and providing children with matchday experiences at Holker Street.

It is investment from higher at the club that has allowed that growth, with first-team manager Ian Evatt and the club’s owners committed to AFC having a bigger presence in the community.

Fitch said: “It’s brilliant. Obviously, having Barrow people, and Barrow through and through people, really helps.

“The new owners and the manager have really jumped on board with the Performance Centre and the holiday camps and help us as much as they can.

“A couple of weeks ago, we had a couple of schools down watching training and last week we had the manager down at the Performance Centre, so it’s been really positive around the club.”