Gloucester City Football Club are marching ahead with a new community link with NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and Imjin Barracks.\n\nThe Tigers, and partners Prospect Training and Education Through Sport, have announced plans to work closely with budding footballers and their families based at Imjin Barracks in Innsworth.\n\n\n\nProjects planned for the coming season include football camps and training sessions for FC Innsworth, ARRC’s youth football club, and ticket offers to allow families to attend first team fixtures.\n\nGloucester City Chairman, Nigel Hughes, said the club are honoured and privileged to be working with the ARRC and Imjin Barracks. As an ex-Serviceman and having served at the barracks he is delighted that this link has been forged.\n\nHe said: “Our aim is to encourage the personnel and families who come from 16 of the NATO alliance nations to be part of our club, enjoying live matches, getting to know the players, supporters and management.\n\n“Together with our partners, Prospect Training and Education Through Sport, we want to encourage integration, education and activities for all age groups within the ARRC community.\n\n“Staff and their families normally complete a two to three year duty at Innsworth before returning to their home nation and we are delighted to be given the opportunity to enhance their experience and memories of Gloucester as a welcoming and exciting city to live in.”\n\nCpl Chris Earle, a serving soldier and Secretary of FC Innsworth, ARRC’s youth football club, which has 63 current members including children of armed forces families and those from the wider community and local schools said he was pleased to be working with the Tigers.\n\nHe said: “We are extremely excited about the prospect of working with Gloucester City AFC and its partners. The link will enable FC Innsworth to continue to grow and will also provide fantastic opportunities for our families serving at Innsworth to become fully involved with Gloucester City AFC. This will hopefully be the start of a long and successful relationship and we look forward to supporting the Tigers in the years to come.”\n\n\n\nThe ARRC and its supporting units routinely plan for up to a third of the staff and their families to start or finish their deployment to Innsworth each year. Innsworth is also home to a number of other units and is the duty station for over 900 personnel and their families. These families are accommodated across central Gloucestershire. HQ ARRC and its support elements are used on current operations including Afghanistan and are fully prepared for rapid deployment worldwide within twenty days.\n\nNigel added: “Whilst we await a positive outcome to our planning application to build a new stadium at Meadow Park, we are continuing to work with various partners, community and minority groups within the city and can clearly demonstrate how participation in sport binds communities and families together. The experience of watching live football, showing appreciation and support for the dedication of the players and supporters whilst spending valuable time with each other creates lasting memories and builds relationships.\n\n“We are indebted to and deeply grateful for the vital work our armed forces carry out every day in order to keep our country safe now and in the future and we are proud to support the families in every way possible ensuring we maintain strong links with the ARRC and the wider Armed Forces Community.”\n\nTo find out more about the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, please visit www.arrc.nato.int
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