Doncaster Rovers might be struggling to hit the target on the pitch this season – but a group of young people are scoring success off it.
For nearly 400 youngsters from the club’s Club Doncaster Foundation project have hit new heights after a summer spent rock climbing, abseiling and taking part in community voluntary work.
And now the 370 strong group have graduated with a glittering party held to celebrate their success.
The three week National Citizen Service programme engaged students in numerous outdoor activities, teaching them life skills, first aid and how to communicate and encourage others to complete set tasks.
NCS programme manager Jan Budtz of Club Doncaster said: “The programme benefits the students in many ways, helping them with confidence, team work and leadership.
“The graduation makes us very proud, but it isn’t the end of the road for the students, it’s just the beginning.
“Students will go on to make a difference in the community, either with us or with other projects they choose to be involved with. “It really does help young adults develop and to shape their career aspirations”.
Participants visited Hawkshead in the Lake District before returning to Doncaster to carry out social action projects to help people in the local community.
The graduates made a real difference to Doncaster Royal Infirmary, raising a massive £1,300 for the Children’s Ward, while others helped refurbish and re-open the crazy golf course at Hexthorpe Park.
In total the students completed over 11,000 hours of voluntary work in the local community and were rewarded with a celebration party at Doncaster Deaf Trust on Leger Way.
The record turnout for the course saw graduates receive certificates signed by Prime Minister David Cameron with the night also including a meal and disco.
Added Jan, former goalkeeper with the Rovers and hero of the club’s League Cup penalty shootout win over Premiership giants Manchester City in 2005: “This year there have been some fantastic stories on how the young people of Doncaster have made such a difference to our community which is fantastic, some of the things they have done is amazing.
“The success of NCS in Doncaster continues year on year, participants get to conquer their fears by taking part in some brilliant experiences and it looks fantastic on everyone’s CV.
“The graduation ceremony was a fantastic event, it was great to see so many people in attendance and it was a really good reward and happy ending for all of the graduates who have worked so hard to make such a difference over the summer.”
* Club Doncaster Foundation, who deliver NCS programmes throughout the year, are available at www.clubdoncasterfoundation.co.uk.