Tuesday 1 Apr 2003


Network Rail has struck a sponsorship deal with Wigan’s under 13s Academy Sports football team. The donation of £500 has ensured a brand new kit for the players, as well as acting as an aid to get railway safety messages across to the young children and their friends. The Academy Sports FC based in Shevington, formed in 1998 and has been playing in the Wigan and District Youth under 13s league since 2001. The team plays in a corridor stretching from Bolton to St. Helens, an area where a number of local railway routes can be found, as well as the busy West Coast Main Line.             Network Rail’s Assurance and Safety Manager, Steve Cowser, put the request of a donation forward on behalf of the team. As the side plays many of its matches in railway crime hotspots, sponsorship gave the ideal opportunity to educate youngsters about the dangers of playing on and around the railway as well as providing them with funds for a new team kit. Steve, who is a keen supporter of the side, said: “The team would like to thank Network Rail for such a generous donation. I take a lot of pride from the fact that my employer was able to contribute to the fundraising. I would also like to thank the managers for giving up their time to run the team and for giving the youngsters a healthy and fulfilling way of spending their weekends.” - more - Safety  - 2 Network Rail’s Route Crime Manager, Sam Coppin said: “We want children to understand that building barricades on tracks, dangling bricks from bridges and throwing stones at trains is extremely dangerous. Network Rail is responsible for providing a safe, reliable railway and this association with Academy Sports football team helps get the safety message across.  “We also hope that the new kit will inspire them to score more goals and come out on top at the end of the season.”

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