Thorn Athletic have been working on a new venture during lockdown which they hope will be a springboard to a successful future, writes Tom Scott.
The club, which has almost 400 members, opened the Thorn Athletic Sports Academy facility in Johnstone (Renfrewshire), which they will run as a Social Enterprise when the coronavirus pandemic ends.
Thorn’s aim will be to deliver a number of sporting and wellbeing activities – in addition to their Football Sessions – for the Community.
Today, Club Chairperson Mr Mark McGee revealed facilities include a Medium-Sized Sports Hall with Changing / Showers, Disabled Toilet, Storage Space, an Office, Outdoor Football Pitch, and Training Area, with Parking along with WIFI and CCTV.
In addition, The Academy will be home to other Community Organisations who can make best use of the space.
The Club will also be offering their own Children’s Party Packages, Silent Discos, Fitness Classes, Walking Football, and a variety of other services.
People will be able to book these online and pay either remotely, or by Card for the services.
The Thorn Athletic Community Trust Executive Committee, which has 11 members bringing their skills to a variety of areas, recently became a Registered Charity.
All income generated through the service provision and the newly-launched Club Lotto will be invested back into the meeting the Club’s aims of Football and Community Development.
The grass pitch at the Academy, formerly known as the McMaster Sports Centre, has been home to the Club’s Caledonian Premier League Amateur side for several years.
A spokesman for Thorn Athletic Community Trust said “The club is expanding what we deliver so we have something for all sections of the Community from very young right through to our older adult population.”
“We have basically been known only for our Football exploits in the past 20 years but that is all about to change dramatically.”
“We hope to make some more significant steps in the next 6-12 months. The Academy Facility will hopefully bring more regeneration to the area in years to come, and see the Development of our Club.”
Many thanks to Mr Mark McGee for the photographs.