England legend devises coaching for new academy

England and Arsenal football legend, Kelly Smith MBE, has devised the coaching and skills routines for the new Mitre Football Academy, which is available at Butlin's Bognor Regis resort during 2018.

Kelly Smith coaching
Kelly Smith coaching

Smith – whose 46 England goals during 117 caps is a national scoring record – spent time with Butlin’s FA Level 2 qualified coaches during the winter to create a programme of training that will help guests learn new skills during their break.

A global survey in 2016 showed British children are among the least active in the world, with only 15 per of girls and 22 per cent of boys managing the Government advice of at least one hour of moderate exercise per day – therefore Butlin’s are working with Smith and Mitre to try and encourage youngsters to get active as part of their break.

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“As a Mum and former professional player myself, I believe in the importance of having active children and helping them hone their skills and learn new ones,” said Smith.

“I hope the Mitre Football Academies allow children to enjoy football during their break at Butlin’s, and go home with new skills to put into good use when they play in school and club matches.”

Sessions will be limited 20 children with two coaches per session, meaning the children will get detailed and personalised coaching.

At the start of the first session, each child will receive a Mitre bag, water bottle, and a drill card to take home so they can continue to work on the skills and techniques.

They also receive a certificate upon completion of the two sessions. Mitre Football Academy sessions take place on Astroturf pitches, cost £15 per child and are split into two age categories: five to seven-year-olds, and eight to 12-year-olds. They can be booked in advance by calling 0330 100 6654.

“Offering families the chance to participate in sports and leisure, and possibly learn some new skills, has always been an important element of a Butlin’s break,” said Butlin’s managing director, Dermot King.

“We are delighted to be working with a legendary player such as Kelly Smith, and a world-famous sports brand like Mitre: their involvement is a great addition to our existing high-quality range of activities.”