Sutton Coldfield Scouts to play at Aston Villa

Sutton Coldfield Scouts will once again be at the Sutton Games this year, laying on a wide variety of activities. But this weekend, they’ll be at Aston Villa for the annual Scouts football tournament.

On Sunday 18th June, Aston Villa Foundation at Villa Park will open its doors to the Scouts and allow them to use their Academy for the football tournament. Des Christie, general manager of the iconic Empire Cinema in Sutton Coldfield, will be refereeing the Father’s Day competition.

Des has one of Sutton’s growing community of volunteers. He was awarded the prestigious Local Business Award at Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council’s first-ever Community Awards at Moxhull Hall on 11th May. The awards celebrated those who work hard for the community but often do not get the recognition they deserve. He was praised for regularly showcasing screenings for the elderly, people with autism and for parents and babies at the Empire and is now continuing that fantastic work by being referee at this tournament.

He says: “I am spending Father’s Day refereeing for the Scouts at Villa Park with my daughter. What a great experience for both of us! The last time I referred for Sutton Coldfield Scouts it was at Wyndley Leisure Centre. How fantastic that they are now playing at Aston Villa!”

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The Aston Villa Foundation is the club’s registered charity that delivers projects and activities around Birmingham across four key themes: sport and recreation, health and well-being, education and development and inclusion and community cohesion.

Guy Rippon, head of the Aston Villa Foundation, “Our mission is to use Aston Villa Football Club as a vehicle to positively impact on local people, neighbourhoods and communities. This includes strengthening our role and relationships in the local community. Essentially it makes the club more accessible on a day-to-day basis in a number of different ways.”

The Foundation delivers activities that benefit 32,000 people every year with people of all ages and from a huge variety of different backgrounds.

“We are looking forward to working with Sutton Coldfield’s Scouts”, says Guy. “Our aim is not just to deliver projects out in the heart of local communities but also to help make Villa Park more accessible including holding and supporting events on non-match days. Working with Sutton Coldfield Scouts in hosting their football tournament is a great way of giving lots of young footballers positive experience of Villa Park”.

Adam Hodson, Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts in Sutton Coldfield East, is a long-time Villa fan. He is very pleased that Aston Villa are supporting the Scout’s football tournament.

“Every year the Scout Association helps over 500,000 young people in the UK enjoy new adventure, experience the outdoors, interact with others, gain confidence and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. We change lives by offering 6 – 25 year olds fun and challenging activities, unique experiences, everyday adventure and the chance to help others so that we make a positive impact on communities.”

The Scouting programme is based around 3 main themes: outdoors and adventure; world and skills. In each section Scouts cover a range of badges and awards that support all aspects of Scouting, including the main themes: leadership, teamwork and personal development. The Scout programme is delivered in a balanced way that incorporates elements from each theme, namely to offer young people the most interesting and diverse experience.

“This every day adventure is possible thanks to our adult volunteers”, says Adam, “They support Scouts in a wide range of roles from working directly with young people to help managing a Group, to being a charity Trustee. We help volunteers get the most out of their experiences at Scouts by providing opportunities for adventure, training, fun and friendship”.

Adam believes that Scouting’s award-winning training scheme for volunteers means that adults get as much from Scouts as young people. The approach focuses on what adults want to get out of volunteering while respecting how much time they can offer. Over 90% of Scout volunteers say that their skills and experiences have been useful in their work or personal life.

“In Scouting, our adults have a responsibility to make sure that the programme is fun and exciting. We must also make sure that it is safe. The Scout Association’s rules, policies, code of behaviour, advice on child protection and safety policy are there to ensure people stay safe while they enjoy themselves and learn”.

If you would like to volunteer as an adult, please go to or call Ian Henery on 07478 670503.