A DARLINGTON football coach for Darlington Spraire Lasses has been raising money to help the elderly in his community during lockdown training.

Due to national lockdown, Nathan Beadle, head coach for Darlington Spraire Lasses has been doing remote training and decided to raise money while doing it.

Nathan said: "I’m head coach for a local girls football club in town and we suffered quite badly from the last lockdown from children’s inactivity.

“This time we’ve tried to bump it up a bit, we’ve put a lot of Facebook live videos on and zoom training sessions so everyone is still getting their football fix at home, we’ve managed to reach over 100 girls doing so.

“Whilst we’ve been doing that we’ve been fundraising as well.

“I used to work at a primary school and I work at another primary school in deprived areas in Darlington, I normally do football several times I week so around 3 or 4 hours after work on a weekday and around 7 to 8 hours on weekend so I had a lot of spare time on my hands.

"So I thought I would put that spare time to use and raise some money for it, and last night surpassed raising £500 raised for getting meals to families.

“I’ve been delivering to the elderly people in our community and all the funds have been raised through Darlington Spraire Lasses and myself.

“I’ve had a lot of help from a lady called Sandra who works at Morrisons as a community champion, she came round and helped us out one Saturday, we did three hours worth of food shopping for food packages and they gave us all the bags to put it in.

"And Santorini Greek Restaurant have just prepared 20 meals for me this week and they’re doing exactly the same next week after we had a £100 donation from a car dealership owned by James Wilson.

“There’s a lot of community spirit in the club that I run my aim is to get 150 girls in the club by the end of the school year next year.

“I’m aware that we’ve got a lot of children being inactive and girls sometimes suffer more than boys with it because boys like bouncing around and wrestling and girls sometimes might fall into the inactive category.

“I want to get as many girls, no matter the experience they have in football in our club, so even during lockdown we’ve been going into schools in full PPE doing taster sessions to get our club boosted right up there.

“I know a few people in the FA and I’ve been told that under 18s are going to be able to go back and play football as of next Wednesday which will be brilliant just to get them out.

“But I think there will be more restrictions in place for young adults and adults, I’m also a semi professional football manager so I think I’ll suffer that side of things.

“It’s essential to get kids back to playing for all sorts of their well-being not just physical but social and emotional well-being as well.

“Hopefully, I’m not saying too much yet because I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m hoping it’s back on because I’m going stir crazy and I know parents are going stir crazy because kids are playing football in the living room.

“But if we need to do remote training we’ll be doing remote training until we’re told not to, but I think it is essential that we start playing because we know the risk of Covid isn’t there as much with kids passing it onto other kids.

“When we started again in May we were doing six at a time coaching and they had to be two metres apart from each other so it was non contact so we had 90 girls signed up to us and now I’m looking at 115 to 120 now.