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19 April 2024

Future Albion stars help coach Foundation kids

Future Albion stars help coach Foundation kids

Albion academy scholars have been busy supporting the BHAFC Foundation throughout the season.

As part of their ongoing development, scholars in the Albion academy have the opportunity to help deliver Foundation sessions. This helps to give the scholars hands-on experience while they study.

Many of the scholars have been studying to pass the UEFA C coaching course; to gain some experience in coaching, they had to plan and deliver three coaching sessions at BHAFC Soccer Schools session at Dorothy Stringer School in Brighton.

Another group of scholars also went to Dorothy Stringer as referees, helping to officiate a tournament for the children.

The scholars have also supported the Foundation’s disability football programme; a group visited a Disability Elite Camp in Lancing, joining in with the session and learning more about disability football.

The Albion Cup – an annual tournament for SEND schools in Sussex – was heavily supported by a group of 22 academy scholars. They helped with the organising of the tournament, as well as acting as coaches and referees.

Sami El-Abd, Assistant Education Manager, said: “This initiative is something our club consistently prioritises because its impact resonates as much with our scholars as it does with the kids at the Foundation.

“Volunteering in these projects often becomes a lasting memory for scholars, shaping their character and fostering a lifelong commitment to community betterment.”

Shona Richards, Under-18s Academy Player Care Officer, echoed Sami’s thoughts.

“For us staff, it’s great to see the scholars give their time to inspire and encourage the younger generation.

“In our current Under-18s scholars, we have three players who came from the Foundation’s football pathway programme. For those individuals to have the opportunity to give back to some staff who have supported them in their journey is really amazing, and we know all the players feel privileged supporting such a great charity.”

As well as being a helpful extra support in the sessions, the scholars also get a lot out of the experience themselves.

Jacob Vickers, an Under-17s scholar, said: ‘The experience of helping out and being involved in the Foundation school tournaments was great fun, seeing how much they enjoyed playing their football made me realise how important the club and the Foundation is to the kids.

“It also made me think of the impact I can have on the younger generation, driving me even more, to one day be a positive role model for them in the future.”

Another scholar, Aidan West, added: “Working with the Foundation was a great experience and one which I look forward to doing in the future. It is a great opportunity to inspire young children in the community from all backgrounds through football.”

Scholar Matthew Hayden was a former Foundation participant when he was younger, and enjoys helping the children who have followed in his footsteps.

“I started out playing football with the Foundation (then Albion in the Community),” he said, “helping out with coaching and refereeing has been a very rewarding experience allowing me to give back to the community.”

Callum Mackley, another Under-17s scholar, said: “Taking part in team activities outside the training ground has created important team bonding and has created some vital memories to look back on, including working with the community and visiting interesting places, and getting and insight of life outside of football.”

Find out more about our work across Sussex.


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