Spurs legend Glenn Hoddle and Manchester United's former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel were visitors to the White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre on Friday to promote the usage of the community site ahead of our Premier League clash against United on Sunday.
While the match is the centre piece for the whole community this weekend, Hoddle joined Schmeichel to watch local youngsters making the most of facilities just a few miles from the Lane.
The site is one of 200 across the UK with facilities created as part of Barclays Spaces for Sports, a partnership between Barclays and the Football Foundation launched back in 2004.
The young people taking part in today's activity are participants in the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation's Football and Education Development Centre run in partnership with St Thomas More College in Wood Green. The programme is aimed at 16-19 year olds not in employment, education or training (NEET) and gives participants the opportunity to play competitive league football with Academy standard coaching while working towards BTEC qualifications and further education opportunities.
Gary Broadhurst, Community Development Manager at the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, which delivers activities at the site, said: “The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation delivers a wide range of innovative programmes in the borough of Haringey – many of which would not be possible without the Spaces for Sports site at the White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre. From mini soccer development sessions to disability specific and football based college and education programmes, the facility is in the heart of the local community and is regularly used by people from the local community with over 800 local young people accessing the site through programmes delivered by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation each week.”
Similar events were held at three other Spaces for Sports sites around the country in the build-up to more mouth watering fixtures in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday – Liverpool v Everton, Sunderland v Newcastle United and Birmingham City v Aston Villa.
Barclays and the Football Foundation are committed to ensuring the long term sustainability of all 200 sites and this year further plans are being put in place to ensure this is the case. This includes the appointment of regional activity and sustainability advisors to provide specific advice and support to sites according to their needs.
Hoddle said: “I think it’s great that with support from Barclays Spaces for Sports and the Football Foundation an investment has been made in a community where there is little else in the way of facilities. It’s important sites like this continue to deliver the benefits that playing competitive sport can bring.”
Kirk Harrison, Head of Barclays Spaces for Sports, said: “A key part of our commitment through Barclays Spaces for Sports was to deliver a lasting legacy to communities through use of our sites. We’ve been working closely with the Football Foundation throughout the programme to achieve this, and we believe the appointment of regional activity and sustainability advisors which we’ve just announced will help deliver tailored support to those sites that need it.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The challenge is to ensure that every one of the 200 sites enjoys extensive and proper usage, remains sustainable and provides a lasting legacy for the community, which is something that the Foundation is working hard with Barclays to deliver. This enduring partnership between Barclays and the Football Foundation continues to be the most ground breaking and innovative grassroots, community sports programme, which is delivering multi-sports opportunities to some of the most deprived communities in the country.”