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Ryan and Cliff celebrate Bill Nicholson Bursary Scheme

Posted on 24 October 2014  - 15:31

As part of the Club’s commemorative activities to mark 10 years since the passing of Bill Nicholson, Ryan Mason and Cliff Jones helped celebrate the achievements of newly qualified coaches who have taken part in the Bill Nicholson Bursary Scheme run by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

Cliff, a member of Bill’s legendary Double-winning side, and Ryan, who graduated from the Tottenham Hotspur Academy, dropped in to meet the coaches who were delivering a football training session to students from the Foundation’s Education and Football Development Centre programme.

Now in its sixth year of operation, the Bill Nicholson Bursary Scheme was set up to deliver football and multi-sport coaching opportunities for people living within the borough of Haringey aged 16 or over.

With the help and support of the Foundation, over 75 local people have gained coaching qualifications and a final 12 recipients are expected to pass their coaching courses by the end of 2014.

Over 85 per cent of these newly qualified coaches have gone on to secure employment within sports provision in Haringey – some with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

Ryan and Cliff spent time talking to coaches, learning about the positive impact the Bill Nicholson Bursary Scheme has had on their lives – giving them the opportunity to gain qualifications and secure employment at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

During a Q&A session with coaches from the Bursary Scheme, Cliff shared memories of Bill from his days at the Club and passed on advice he had once been given by the legendary former manager.

Ryan, who spoke to coaches about their techniques, said: “It’s a great programme that helps young coaches develop and get their qualifications. You can see the coaches are passionate about it which goes a long way in what they are doing.

“The fact that it has been put on through the family of Bill Nicholson makes it that extra bit special. He’s got a legacy. Just the name Bill Nicholson has an aura about it – he’s a legend.”

Speaking about the Bursary Scheme, Cliff said: “It is a very positive scheme and I’m sure a lot of these young people are going to gain from it. I think Bill was someone that these young people would have loved to have known and I’m sure his legacy will live on for a few years yet from what I’ve seen of it this afternoon.”

Keeley Blackwood, who has come through the Bill Nicholson Bursary Scheme, said: “In 2009 I was interested in getting involved in some youth work in the local community. I took my Level 1 in football through the Bursary fund.

“Since then I’ve been able to use my qualifications to secure a job at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. I go out and deliver football to hard-to-reach young people living in some of the most deprived areas in our local communities and I really enjoy it. If it wasn’t for the Bill Nicholson Bursary Scheme, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”