THE Wayne Rooneys and Lionel Messis of tomorrow are being given a head start thanks to a new active learning group set up by a Glenrothes mum.
School teacher Shirley Reise has seen the popularity of her Early Kicks Toddlers Football groups in Glenrothes and Dalgety Bay soar and all before a ball even hits the back of the net.
The group, which is open to toddlers of walking age up to three-years-old and is centred around active play and learning kicked off its first session in the town last week.
And it’s proved to be a great success with parents and youngsters alike.
Shirley who comes from a football mad family told the Gazette she set the idea in motion after finding nothing like it for her son to go to.
She added: “The idea is to have a a fun learning group which involved boys and girls of about 12 months to three years-old which had a focus on football and physical activity.
“There doesn’t seem to be anything else out there that caters specifically for that type of activity. so using my teacher skills I spent the last year with the help of several other people, including my husband Craig who has a coaching background, to develop a programme that is physically active yet non-competitive.
“It’s not a strict football training session in any way, it’s firmly based on kids having fun with other kids.
“There’s so much negativity around the whole child obesity rates these days, so with a group like this it’s also a great way to teach kids about the benefits being active and they can carry that on as they get older.”
And along to help the potential stars of tomorrow enjoy the activities was non other than former Glasgow Rangers, Raith Rovers and Trinidad and Tobago international footballer Marvin Andrews who gave his endorsement to the new project.
“It’s the first time I’ve even heard or seen anything football related for children as young as this” he told the Gazette.
“It’s a fantastic idea as it’s not about training kids with a ball, it’s about toddlers being able to interact through play and physical activity, as well as run around like all kids love.|
“Looking at the kids, they’re having a brilliant time, and I think there’s one or two that might even give me a run for my money!’’