TULLIBODY councillors have praised a project which is looking to tackle antisocial behaviour through football and youth engagement.

As reported last week, Football 5ives sessions have kicked off at Tullibody South Campus, with activities every Friday in the Coalfields Regeneration Trust's (CRT) Game On Scotland programme.

The sessions aim to offer a positive destination for young people aged 11-17 at a time when antisocial behaviour has been causing problems.

A report on the programme went in front of elected Clacks representatives on the People Committee last Thursday, September 16.

Cllr Darren Lee, who previously raised concerns over young people being involved in crime, said he was "absolutely beaming" about the project, set up by Sean Laird – the CRT development manager.

He told the virtual Kilncraigs chamber: "Last year, it wasn't just petty crime that we were seeing in Tullibody.

"It was major crimes: it was GBH [grievous bodily harm], people were getting stabbed, people were getting robbed, there was arson, there was major vandalism on council and private property."

Council officials made contact with CRT and while the Game On Scotland programme already launched earlier this year, restrictions meant sessions could only recently begin.

Cllr Lee, a resident of the town, added: "It's fantastic because it addresses the problem that there were kids in our community that the police knew could potentially go down dark paths if they weren't reached.

"This gives them diversional activities in which we can identify those at risk and also provide something for the kids in the community to come around, create friendships and create partnerships that will lead to a stronger community."

Activities will move indoors to Tullibody Civic Centre in the darker months which will see "community helping community", Cllr Lee added.

The sessions in Tullibody – supported by partners in education, policing and the fire service, Tullibody Community Development Trust, individuals from the town and coaches from Sauchie Juniors – run between 6pm and 8pm on Fridays.

At the same time there is also a session at the five-a-side pods at Clackmannan Road in Alloa along with sessions for P4-7 girls during the week.

Speaking ahead of Cllr Lee was committee chair and fellow townsman Cllr Graham Lindsay who also welcomed the "really fantastic project".

He also provided reassurance about the facilities at the campus, which he called "a jewel in Clackmannanshire's crown", something that needs to be utilised to a great extent.

Cllr Lindsay said: "At the moment, there's a lot of frustration around the way it's being kept, we obviously made sure that the padlock remained off and it is our aspiration that the padlock remains off.

"But you are absolutely right, and I think I've used the same words myself: If the young people and community struggle to look after it, we would have to look at a different plan and we don't want to go down that route."

Delighted with the project, he added: "It's all about the young people, those diversionary activities that will, hopefully, address some of that antisocial behaviour that has been a real challenge for Tullibody and particular pockets of Tullibody."