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DAWSON BACK IN ACTION

Posted on 12 October 2006  - 12:00

Michael Dawson joined youngsters from St.Thomas More's Secondary School this week to launch the Haringey Extended Schools and Community Football Initiative.

Michael Dawson joined youngsters from St.Thomas More's Secondary School this week to launch the Haringey Extended Schools and Community Football Initiative.The scheme is a pioneering football development initiative that provides Haringey children and young people with many more opportunities to play and coach football.

"It’s important that as many people as possible can learn to play sport and to be active," said Michael. "They might not want to become professional footballers like me, but we must try and help young people stay fit and healthy. If we can get them away from playing football on computer games and onto the pitches to do it for real, then we’re doing a good job."

The Haringey Schools and Community Football Initiative has the distinction of being the largest extended schools football development project funded by the Football Foundation on a national level. Haringey Council was successful in securing a grant of over £240,000 from the Foundation, the UK's largest sports charity in April of this year.

The project will support the Government objective to provide at least two hours of sport per week outside of school hours, and develop a minimum standard of schools-based football. Spurs coaches will deliver most of the football training and they will work with Haringey’s Voluntary Sector Organisations to deliver daily football development sessions in Haringey primary and secondary schools. The project will also include elements which aim to reduce truancy and anti-social behaviour as well as introducing healthy lifestyles to all participants.

Kathryn Robinson, Chief Executive of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation said: "This initiative gives the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and Haringey Council a unique opportunity to make a real difference to local schoolchildren. Life lessons such as staying physically active and the benefits of teamwork can be taught informally through a medium like football. Through a comprehensive extended schools programme with professional coaches we aim to support our young people now and in the future.""This initiative gives the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and Haringey Council a unique opportunity to make a real difference to local schoolchildren."