Stags United Walking Football

The focus for the development of Queens Cross Housing Association’s (QCHA) Stags United Programme is building community capacity in local neighbourhoods. The project involves residents of QCHA and involves different types of activities to engage with older residents, such as: Football Photography course over 12 weeks in partnership with Glasgow Clyde College; Stadium visits including Hamden Park, Maryhill Juniors, Petershill, Firhill Complex, Patrick Thistle and Rangers Football Club.

An important part of the programme was the initiation of 6-weeks of free Walking Football lessons from North Kelvin Sports Development Group which led us to develop the partnership and offer a 6-month structured football programme; Maryhill Tesco Community Champion contributing fruit and water at sessions; Visit from Matt Ramsay (Glasgow Sport Football Participation Officer and Board of Director at Walking Football Scotland); Sports and Memories taster session; Bridges & Barriers Anti-Sectarianism workshops; Planned Sports and Memories Training programme for volunteers. Stags United’s efforts were rewarded by receiving an award by NKSDG at their 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Glasgow Hilton Grosvenor Award in May 2019. They were presented their award by MP Patrick Grady.

NKSDG Project Officer Conor Mitchell is our specialist Walking Football coach at QCHA’s Stags United sessions. QCHA received full award at the end of May 2019 for the Walking Football programme within the second stage of the Community Choices Canal funding process. This fund supplements QCHA’s Older Peoples Service Activity Budget and sees us working together to the end of 2019. We actively seek funding or sponsorship options to support these sessions in 2020 and beyond.


William Tervert (61) Tenant within the Older Peoples Service

“The walking football is absolutely brilliant! We have put QCHA at the top of the tree. Working with Connor form North Kelvin Sports has allowed us focus on our fitness, I’ve even lost weight! We couldn’t ask for a better teacher, he’s great, top notch! I’ve met a lot of interesting people and made real friends, meeting up regularly outside of the programme.”

Frank McGarrity (72) Tenant within the Older Peoples Service

“Receiving recognition from North Kelvin Sports at the award ceremony was great, they really made us feel part of the event. It was well ran and now people know that Queens Cross Housing Association have a Walking Football Team. We appreciate all the work from Donna, our Health and Well-being Activity Co-ordinator; she’s worked hard to establish us! I can’t wait to visit other venues/teams.”

Donna Maclean QCHA H&WB Activity Coordinator

“Bonds have been created around one common topic, Football. The aim of the Walking Football programme is to improve, maintain and promote mental and social wellbeing in men 60 years and over. In partnership with North Kelvin Sports, a core group of men some with poor health, mobility issues and or poor quality of life come together for structured football lessons, also discussing topics on sectarianism and memorable sporting events. Walking Football is built upon a multitude of social, physical and physiological benefits as feedback from individuals has shown improved self-esteem and confidence further expressing they feel less isolated and now integrated as part of the wider community.”


Football For All

North Kelvin Sports Development Group, in partnership with Maryhill Integration Network, run regular free football sessions aimed at young adults including asylum seekers and refugees in the local community, allowing them access to sport opportunities and social activities in a comfortable and inclusive environment.

The sessions run weekly on a Monday evening, out with holidays, consisting of one game played between two randomly selected teams taking place at Firhill Complex from 6pm – 7pm, led by a North Kelvin Coach. The Football For All sessions first started with a group of Syrian guys but grew continuously more diverse as time went on. During that time, they’ve had lots of young guys joining, mostly between ages 15 - 19 from the local area. Anyone 14+ is welcome to join the sessions, for further information or to register your interest please contact Maryhill Integration Network on the contact details below.


“I was alone with no relations here or friends. I began a new life, living in a way that was more connected, more social. They are friendly and you can get help with everything, especially as an asylum seeker and refugee. The thing that has made the biggest difference to my life is that everything has a meaning, we don’t just take part for the sake of it, we understand why it is important and what this means for us. The sessions last more than just the one hour, we are connected, and we get knowledge and information about our community and society. The impact grows, and you get a greater sense of everything, you have friends and you can relax; it is a chance to leave behind our past problems and sadness, it gives you a new hope. There is also something to look forward to, a focus and structure, every week – this helps a lot when you are alone.”


Email: Tel: 0141 946 9106


Previous Projects

commonwealth champions


As Commonwealth Games Legacy Club, North Kelvin successfully applied to the Celebrate fund to promote the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. To kick start the programme club staff delivered a miniature athletics event at our annual summer fundraiser where young people in community where able to sample taster athletics events. We continued with our celebrations at our annual Summer Sports Camp where participants took part in a multi-sport activity every single day for the entire 4 weeks of the camp.

As the club spent the summer celebrating the Commonwealth Games North Kelvin staff were busy planning the Commonwealth Champions project which would later prove to be one of our most successful projects that massively increased our reputation and standing across the North-West of Glasgow. This community-centred project would celebrate the cultural diversity of the Commonwealth and through regular involvement in a range of Commonwealth Games sports. This would help to contribute towards a lasting sports legacy for Maryhill, an area of the city that saw little investment or impact from the games themselves.

Commonwealth Champions was a 10-week project delivered to 6 local primary schools, to all Primary 4s and 5s pupils, across the North-West of Glasgow. Each class received 30-minute class based session that would explore a selected country from the Commonwealth and its unique culture covering topics such as local customs and traditions, history, music, food etc. Participants would then receive a 30-minute sports session involving a sport from the Commonwealth Games. The countries selected were South Africa, Jamaica, India, Canada, Kenya, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago and Sri Lanka. They also received an introductory week explaining the history and influence of the Commonwealth. All participants received the opportunity to play badminton, rugby, relay races, hockey, long jump, sprints and hurdles, netball, javelin, shot put, and lawn bowls.

Overall, the project proved to be a huge success with all participating schools and led to an increased demand for similar projects to be delivered in partnership with schools using our sport and education model. The success of the multi-sport activities led to the club adopting a multi-sport model across all community projects and have continued to deliver these sessions as part of our popular holiday sports camps.


“The children have gained a greater understanding of the world and its history. The cultural impact has been great and has given my class a greater understanding of food, cultural music, history and social/economical differences between Maryhill and the Commonwealth countries. The sporting aspect was also exceptional and really engaged the children in their activities. They loved having coaches to teach skills properly.”

“A very relevant context for study after the Glasgow 2014 games. Diverse areas of study covered during presentations - history, geography, religious, cultural, sport etc. Pupils loved having experience of lots of different sport and activities which were pitched at a very accessible level.”

“Huge cross-cultural links and exposures to other ways of life. Great opportunity to take part in sports they might not otherwise have had experience of. This gives them an idea of things they could pursue outside of school.”

“The presentations given in the class where engaging, well-structured and very well delivered. The Commonwealth Champions showed an interest and enthusiasm each week for their chosen country and sport which again full engaged the class. They have class presence and kept the class focused. Sports were well resourced engaging and fun. My class loved it.”


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North Kelvin were approach by Glasgow Life to work in partnership with Cleveden Secondary to deliver their new MIDAS (Model of Integrated Diversionary Activities and Services) programme. MIDAS was designed as a 12-week alternative curriculum programme for disengaged young people who were identified through the school pastoral care team. MIDAS involved a unique blend of sports participation and educational activities away from the formal school environment. Educational workshops included work on positive citizenship, equalities education and positive lifestyle choices in a non-judgemental, supportive and informal teaching environment.

The project used our successful delivery model to build confidence and positive relationships with classmates whilst promoting inclusion, respect and civic responsibility. Participants took part in a range of sports sessions led by experienced coaches who also encouraged participants to plan and deliver their own coaching sessions gaining valuable skills that boosted confidence and self-efficacy in the process. The programme was offered to young people from S3-S6 from Cleveden Secondary School who had been identified as ‘at-risk’ or who were experiencing difficulties in the school environment.


“Excellent for developing leadership skills and raising confidence and self-esteem…very worthwhile and valuable.”

“100% of participants would take part in the MIDAS project again if made available.”

“80% strongly agreed that the project provided a comfortable and supportive learning environment. 20% agreed.”

“50% strongly agreed that the topics covered were interesting and encouraged debate. 50% agreed.”

Off the Bench – Get Active! Get Fit! Get Social!

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Off the Bench was a healthy lifestyle initiative that provided an opportunity for adults living in the North-West of Glasgow to take part in a 12-week programme that would promote healthy active lifestyles and improve confidence and self-efficacy through regular participation in sport and exercise in a sociable and informal manner.

Off the Bench provided a platform for staff to promote healthy lifestyle alternatives, increase social contact and encourage personal growth in a structured and supportive environment. The social aspect of the project was crucial as community members experiencing various aspects of social isolation or exclusion were targeted through a partnership approach with organisations working with people in recovery, the long-term unemployed and those recently released from prison.  

As well as the obvious health benefits of regular physical activity, Off the Bench offered participants a sociable experience which encouraged their own personal and social development by engaging them in a wide variety of discussions and educational workshops. Topics included: health and well-being, active citizenship, equalities, sectarianism, employability, current affairs, rights and responsibilities and community issues.

Many remarked upon completion of the project that it had aided their recovery as it reinforced positive lifestyle messages that they were eager to adopt away from the sessions. The group, the majority of which were living sedentary lifestyles, were able to report personal milestones achieved such as:

  • Completing our 9 week ‘Couch to 5K’ challenge, successfully jogging a 5K

  • Competing in a 5 a-side football tournament

  • Reducing the amount of caffeine/sugary drinks consumed

  • Increased water intake with added awareness of benefits of hydration

  • Regular monitoring of diet and increasing awareness of sugar/salt intake

The project aimed to address hard-to-reach groups in our community to further reinforce our organisations values of promoting fitness, opportunity and access for all using sport as our delivery vehicle.