Tuesday 19 Sep 2006


Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western

Network Rail is providing young people in Plymouth with the opportunity to become soccer stars of the future by funding twilight football sessions with Plymouth Argyle FC in railway crime hotspots.  To promote positive activities during the autumn evenings, Network Rail has donated £8,500 to Plymouth Argyle FC to fund the football sessions and use the expertise of the club’s coaches.  The football sessions form part of Network Rail’s No Messin’! campaign, which educates young people about the dangers of playing on the railway and offers them alternative activities.  Roy Hamlin, Network Rail’s General Manager for the West Country, said: “Unfortunately, since the start of this year, more than a third of reported railway crime incidents in the Plymouth area have involved young people – from trespassing and throwing stones at passing trains, to placing objects on the line – all of which could have tragic results. “As the owner and operator of the rail network in the West Country, Network Rail is committed to preventing pointless tragedies.  We have invested this money to show the young people of Plymouth that there are better ways for them to spend their time, which – unlike playing on the railway – don’t carry the risk of disfigurement and death.” Network Rail and Plymouth Argyle joined forces in July, kicking off with a No Messin’! fun day, where young people from Stoke Dameral Community College were invited to Home Park to try out a variety of activities, including penalty shoot outs, a climbing wall, British Wrestling Association coaching and a surf simulator. Mark Rivers, Argyle’s Football in the Community Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be teaming up with Network Rail to bring this exciting project to the young people of Plymouth. “Argyle is committed to anything that helps youngsters in the community stay on the right track.” Portable flood lights, bibs and coaching staff have been funded by Network Rail.  Those interested in taking part in the twilight football sessions are encouraged to contact Argyle's Football in the Community team or look out for posters at their local leisure centres.

Notes to editors

Twilight football starts on the 27 September from 5pm – 6pm at Devonport Park. Plymouth Argyle is currently visiting secondary schools in railway crime hotspot areas to promote the twilight football sessions, as well educating young people about the dangers of playing on the railway. Railway Crime Statistics in Plymouth (January – 19 September 2006) Number of reported incidents in hotspot areas: Keyham: 18, of which 9 involved young people Tamerton Viaduct: 17, of which 4 involved young people Plymouth Station area: 12, of which 4 involved young people Devonport: 7, of which 3 involved young people St Budeaux: 5, of which 2 involved young people Total number of incidents in Plymouth: 80

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