Students on our Football & Education Development Centre, run in partnership with Waltham Forest College, were paid a special visit by two of our Chingford-born players.
Harry Kane and Andros Townsend held a series of question and answer sessions with more than 50 students who have enrolled on the new course. They gave advice on their nutrition and training regimes and revealed what inspired them to achieve as professional footballers.
The programme is designed to engage young people in football theory, Tottenham Hotspur Academy standard coaching and a range of academic qualifications. The students spend their mornings in the classroom studying sports orientated subjects such as anatomy, physiology, coaching, sports leadership and business. The afternoons are spent on the training ground where their football skills are honed by coaches from the football club.
Andros said: “This is a fantastic project for getting young people off the streets and back into education, while giving them the chance to play the sport they love."
Harry added: “This course may provide a second chance for some of these young people to be recognised and become professional footballers. If the football doesn’t work out they can gain qualifications which will enable them to have good careers in sport, perhaps in coaching or as physios.”
The 53 students are aiming for BTEC qualifications at Level 1, which is foundation level, Level 2, which is GCSE equivalent, and Level 3 which is equivalent to A-Levels.
Steve Quinton, who set up and oversees the course for the College, said: “The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation coaches are very supportive of the academic side. They sit in the classrooms with the students to make sure they are paying attention, and those that fall behind will have to forego time on the training ground to catch up.”
Zac Johnston, 16, from East Avenue, Walthamstow, is embarking on a BTEC Level 2 course after leaving Frederick Bremmer School with six GCSE passes at A to C.
He said: “I really want to make it as a player, but this course will enable me to have a career in football in some capacity.”
Students train at Wadham Lodge sports ground, now run by Match Day Centres who have spent more than £2 million renovating the facilities and providing all weather training facilities.
Jason Maguire, who owns the company, said: “We allow the students to use our facilities free of charge as part of our mission to make schemes like this sustainable.”
There are limited places available on the scheme. For more information please contact Tony Tillbrook on 0208 365 5072 or firstname.lastname@example.org