How Kilwinning Sports Club began
It has been traditional in towns in Scotland for a number of individuals to run a variety of football teams without necessarily liaising with each other, or operating within one framework. In this respect Kilwinning were no different from any other footballing community.
The experience of other countries, particularly in Scandinavia, where football has witnessed a remarkable rise in technical ability and levels of participation, suggested that there was a distinct advantage to be gained by promoting “Community Football or Sports Clubs”. These models have been admired for many years by Scottish football clubs but no one had been brave enough to take the plunge and try to bring teams together for the greater good of the sport – particularly for young people.
In 1999 the SFA were in discussion with North Ayrshire Council and local football teams leaders Jim Hodge and Jim McCubbin were already discussing with each other the lack of facilities for football in the area and pulled together a likeminded set of coaches and parents to campaign for improvements to the existing facilities in the town including Dirrans, Corsehill, McGavin and Pennyburn Parks. Through this campaign 16 of the towns football teams were brought together and negotiated a lease for 2 eleven-a-side pitches, 2 seven-a-side pitches and a rundown pavilion at Pennyburn Playing Fields was the preferred option. A development plan was put in place, a constitution adopted, and in July 2000 Kilwinning Community Sports Club was born to manage and operate the pitches and facilities at Pennyburn on behalf of the member clubs and partners in the community with the aim to promote football development, health, fitness and community wellbeing.
Field of Dreams
We once had a dream that we played football on our own pitch with drainage, floodlights and dugouts. In 1999 this dream started to become a reality when the S.F.A suggested it to the North Ayrshire Council. Our dream was alive…
No one could have predicted the success story that followed many meetings, which later became Kilwinning Community Sports Club. Sixteen representatives of the town’s youth and amateur teams took a gamble in March 2000; they got together to form one club and to improve the playing and training facilities in Kilwinning. The main office bearers from the newly formed management committee drove the club forward and negotiated a lease from the Council for Pennyburn Playing fields. We had our own pitch, To be precise we had two eleven’s and two sevens plus a huge lake with no floodlights or dugouts. The small and basic pavilion was in need of major improvements and the pitches were in very poor condition.
The club now speaks for itself, just take a look at the football pitches and training areas, the golf green and driving range and the fitness suite to see what has been achieved in terms of facility improvement. Over 30 member teams and numerous non-member teams plus well over 1500 individuals enjoy playing, training and keeping fit at our fantastic facility. What is not evident is the remarkable achievement of the people behind the scenes. We got together, we work together, and we built it together for our Community and us. I am honoured to be part of that team who has created their very own “Field of Dreams”.