Scott Parker visited a training session of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Education and Football Development Centre this week – but it was a training session with a difference!
The young footballers currently studying at Barnet and Southgate College, Enfield, were given the chance to try out a totally different ball game by teaming up with the cast of Sky Sports show ‘School of Hard Knocks’.
‘School of Hard Knocks’ is a ground-breaking intervention programme that uses the game of Rugby Union and other challenging activities to teach important values and lessons that enables participants to take positive and definite steps towards employment or Further Education.
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Education and Football Development Centre programme, meanwhile, works closely with young people classified as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), using the hook of football and partnerships with three local Colleges to re-engage participants in Further Education.
At White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre, the two sports, and the two programmes, came together for the same goal.
Under the watchful eye of Parker, along with England and Wales rugby legends Will Greenwood and Scott Quinell, the Development Centre students were put through their paces at rugby, and the ‘School of Hard Knocks’ participants were given a lesson in football by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation coaches.
England international Parker has been instrumental in the heart of Tottenham Hotspur’s midfield since arriving from West Ham United in the summer.
He said: “I was more than impressed with the event. It gave these guys an opportunity to get communicating with people, to make friends, to get some discipline in their lives and hopefully to get back into work or education. I think sport brings people together and I honestly think that events such as this must be a great help for the people involved.
“It’s crucial for us as players to be active within the community. When we play on Saturdays, the community supports us, so it’s good for us to come out and show our support and show what a great job everybody is doing.
“The young people involved in these programmes are not just sitting indoors and taking life as it is, they’re really trying to succeed.”
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Education and Football Development Centre links football theory, Academy standard coaching and affiliated league and cup competitions with a range of academic studies.
Learners of varying abilities can enrol on full-time BTEC level 1, 2 or 3 courses and NVQ Coaching in sports courses with the potential to continue onto a Foundation degree in Sports Development and Coaching.
During the year, students use facilities at individual colleges and White Hart Lane Community
Sports Centre, Wadham Lodge Sports Ground and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
They also receive up to 10 hours of Tottenham Hotspur Academy standard coaching each week to enhance their current football skills and motivate them to continue the hard work within their academic studies.