ON behalf of Warrington Town under 9s football club, I would like to thank family, friends and the kind people of Warrington for helping us to raise enough funds to take 10 kids on a trip of a lifetime to Hilden, Warrington’s partner town in Germany.
We played 11 matches and won 10, every child, parent and coach was a credit to Warrington and we will have fond memories of our adventure for years to come.
After being picked up from the airport by a representative of Hilden town in transport arranged and paid for by Hilden, we were welcomed by the Mayor with open arms. He invited us to a ‘Golden Reception’ in a beautifully decorated reception room in the historic town hall of Hilden. We were presented with gifts, served food and drink and spent the evening as his personal guests.
Over the weekend we played at numerous clubs on pristine pitches, with changing rooms and clubhouses which any semi professional team would have been proud of.
Every team trainer in Hilden gave us their contact details, stating their wish to come over to Warrington to take part in a tournament next year in their twinned town. Unfortunately, I doubt we could ever offer them the same.
On a sad note, our council seriously needs to reconsider its approach to such events, especially toward their twinned towns.
In order to get our fundraising up and running I approached the council in 2013, asking for a small donation. I was met with the question ‘how will that benefit the people of Warrington?’ and subsequently offered nothing.
It is sad to know that our governing body is incapable of seeing the benefits for our society in helping to give the children such opportunities.
In a second attempt we asked if the council could provide us with an item bearing the town’s coat of arms to thank the Mayor of Hilden for their support. My number was noted and I was assured that someone would get back to me. Noone ever did.
While in the company of the Mayor of Hilden he stated that communication with the council has over the past few years died down with e-mails and letters going unanswered. They seemed proud to have the pleasure of welcoming members of their twinned town, and in helping to make the weekend one to remember.
The governing body of Hilden was visibly more proud of its partnership with our home town compared with its Warrington counterparts which saddens me deeply.
CHRIS BURKE (under 9s coach)