Chelsea FC Women’s defender Anita Asante recently joined pupils from Cobham Free School to help launch the Premier League Writing Stars programme.
The Premier League Writing Stars poetry competition returns for its second year to inspire children aged five to 11 to get creative and pen their own poem on the theme of diversity.
The campaign, which is open to all primary schools in England and Wales, is supported by stars from the worlds of football, entertainment and literature with last year’s competition encouraging more than 25,000 primary school pupils to write a poem.
Asante listened to the children’s poems that they had been working on during the session before taking part in a Q&A session.
Speaking after the event, she said: ‘I’ve really enjoyed meeting the children today and talking to them about diversity, not just within football but all walks of life.
‘It’s great to see the Foundation and Premier League doing these initiatives to help the younger generation understand that we are all different in our own way, but those differences also bring us together.’
Chelsea Foundation schools education manager said: ‘We’ve had Anita come in to help us launch this year’s poetry competition as part of the Premier League Writing Stars programme.
‘It was great to hear her talk to the children about her experiences throughout her career and I think the children thoroughly enjoyed having her with us.
‘She also gave some great tips on writing poetry, how important it is to bring your personality through your writing and so hopefully the children can take that away to help them produce their own poem.’
Chelsea FC Foundation recently joined forces with youth homeless charity Centrepoint to help inspire positive change for people experiencing homelessness and social exclusion.
Centrepoint is the UK’s leading charity for homeless young people and provide accommodation, health support and life skills to get them back into education, training and employment.
Together with Centrepoint, the Foundation helped to provide workshops and practical sessions to participants over a course of eight weeks with the main focus on both health and wellbeing and employability.
The workshops consisted of key themes including respect, resilience, responsibility and teamwork while participants also got to take part in a practical session at our Cobham Training Ground.
Chelsea Foundation London community manager Gareth Davies said: ‘Our initial training programme with Centrepoint has been a great success and we are very much looking forward to growing our relationship to positively influence the lives of these young people through self-development workshop delivery and practical football coaching.
Jack Badu of Centrepoint said: “This was a great opportunity to offer young people a chance to express themselves through the medium of street football in one of the most inspiring football spaces in the world. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Chelsea Staff on this and I hope this is the first of many groups moving forward.”
The Chelsea Foundation hosted a disability awareness event at Coombe Boys School in New Malden on Thursday.
As part of the school’s Diversity Day, more than 360 children from Coombe Boys School and Coombe Girls School took part in a fun-filled day of sporting activities.
The students took part in activities including blind football and learnt how to modify sessions for people with disabilities.
Chelsea Foundation disability coordinator Ellie Crabb said: ‘We’ve been hosting a disability awareness event as part of the school’s Diversity Day so we’ve been looking at blind football and we have also been looking at the differentiation of sessions for children with disabilities.
‘We hope the children will gain an understanding of what it’s like for someone who has a disability and hopefully from that they’ll be able to educate others and to support others learning and to understand about that overall aspect of inclusion.
‘These type of events are really important because the majority of children in schools are getting diagnosed with disabilities earlier.
‘These students are in year nine and some of them may have a disability and some may not know that they have a disability and so it’s really important that they start to understand what kind of person they need to be to work with someone with a disability.’
Year nine student Isabelle said: ‘We’ve been taking part in blind football and learning to trust our partners – and today’s activities has made me grateful for what I actually have.
‘It’s very important that we don’t treat anyone any differently, we should still try and involve anyone with a disability even if they do find it a little bit harder to take part.’
Chelsea fan Bruno Machado enjoyed a day to remember on Tuesday as he visited our Cobham training ground to celebrate 30 years of London’s Air Ambulance Charity.
The 11-year-old, who was struck by a car and sustained a brain injury in 2018 before being treated at the scene by London’s Air Ambulance and later taken to hospital, enjoyed the once in a lifetime experience to mark 30 years of London’s Air Ambulance Charity.
To celebrate the historic occasion London’s Air Ambulance’s iconic red helicopter visited the training grounds of the Blues as well as other London teams Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United to mark 30 Years Saving Lives across the capital.
Upon arrival Bruno was greeted by Blues midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek before receiving some gifts from the Chelsea Foundation, including a personalised shirt and tickets for our Premier League game with Leicester City.
Bruno, who was joined by parents Fernanda and Daniel, said: ‘It has been a wonderful experience being here and getting to meet Ruben where Chelsea train.
‘I am so happy with my Chelsea shirt and also tickets for a game where I will meet all the players, it will be amazing.
‘The Air Ambulance have been so important in my life and I can’t thank them enough for what they did for me.’
The visit was organised with the support of the Chelsea Foundation in recognition of the hospital-level care roadside service London’s Air Ambulance has provided to critically injured patients across the capital.
London’s Air Ambulance Charity CEO Jonathan Jenkins said: ‘On behalf of London’s Air Ambulance Charity I would like to thank Chelsea for supporting us as we mark our 30th anniversary.
‘Since 1989 we have been there for anyone who is critically injured, delivering life-saving care at the roadside for the on average five people we attend each day.
‘Chelsea’s backing for our ‘30 Years Saving Lives’ campaign will help boost awareness of our work and encourage more people to support the charity, so we can continue to serve the people of London, every second of every day.’
Bruno’s upcoming trip to Stamford Bridge for the Leicester game is part of the Foundation’s commitment to children’s charities with the Chelsea fan’s story passed on to us by Rays of Sunshine Children's Charity, who brighten up the lives of seriously ill children aged three to 18 by granting wishes and organising large scale events.
The Chelsea Foundation’s Digital Blue programme was celebrated on Friday with more than 600 children benefitting from the education initiative during the past two years.
For the past two years the unique Digital Blue initiative has sort to bring science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to students by using the lens of football to inspire the children involved.
That trend continued recently as Stamford Bridge hosted a Robot Football World Cup for a number of local schools who have participated benefitted from the programme.
The tournament had teams of children coding electronic footballs, or “Spheros”, to score goals, requiring group communication and perseverance to outscore the opposition.
Coding is a skill that is very difficult to master alone, an idea which Ruben, a ten-year-old student from Queen’s Park Primary, emphasised: ‘I have learnt that in robotics you need to use teamwork because if one person cannot do something there is always another person to help them out.’
More than just teaching the schoolchildren vital coding skills that will be useful for their futures, Rob Johnson, the deputy head of Frogmore Junior School, believes that Digital Blue helps his pupils on a human level too.
He said: ‘In school the children are generally more quiet and studious but when it comes to the robotics we see a completely different side to them.
‘They come out of their shells, have lots of fun, and really challenge each other to improve and solve coding problems.’
In addition and continuing the Foundation’s partnership with VEX Robotics, who together have launched several Girl Powered events over the last year aimed at raising female participation in STEM fields, a handful of the teams attending the tournament were all-female. Females are traditionally under-represented in the STEM world, so initiatives like these have an enormous impact.
And in a summer where women’s football has massively increased in popularity, Johnson believes that these events also help to encourage Frogmore’s female pupils to join the hype.
He added: ‘Their knowledge of the game has definitely improved since we have started working with Chelsea. For the students to be inside Stamford Bridge, aware that the Women’s World Cup was taking place with a number of Chelsea players participating, it has exposed them to something they did not know existed.’