Kick It Out and FSF help with Luton schools project
Luton schoolchildren learnt what it takes to be world champions in an innovative project which combined their love of football with their studies.
Nearly 600 children from local schools came to the Kenilworth Road stadium for the ‘World Cup Week of Learning’, a joint project between charity Unleashing Potential and Luton Town Football Club earlier this month.
The children, who were drawn from 28 schools, participated in interactive assemblies run by hip-hop artist and educational practitioner Karl Nova of London-based ‘Student of Life’, and sports journalist Amar Azam.
The purpose of the event, which was aimed at primary school children, as well as those in high schools, was to raise the aspirations of the reluctant learners.
Kick It Out’s Rishi Jain and Football Supporters Federation’s Anwar Uddin were also involved, sharing some inspirational words of support and guidance when they came along to the club to speak to the older children.
The children were also treated to a stadium tour by club director David Blakeman, as well as given an opportunity to lift a replica version of the World Cup trophy in a ceremony at the end of the session.
These activities are delivered by Unleashing Potential, a Luton-based charity that seeks to empower communities through skills development. It does this through its lifelong learning programmes in the town, as well as in Africa, through its Project Malawi initiative.
Rishi Jain, Football League Clubs Development Officer for Kick It Out, said: “The learning project delivered by Unleashing Potential is a fantastic way of engaging with children from across the Luton area.
“It was a privilege for me and Anwar to speak to the children about our experiences in football. Kick It Out wants to inspire the next generation to get involved in football regardless of background.”
Anwar Uddin, Diversity and Campaigns Manager for the FSF, said: “It was a fantastic event. I believe that is important that projects like this engage with local schools in the local area.
“What we did during our time with the children was offer an insight into football culture and how it could affect them.”
Amar Azam, a project manager for Unleashing Potential, said: “The purpose of this initiative was to show children that they could be football fans, as well as remaining enthused and engaged learners.
“The feedback we received has been overwhelmingly positive from the children and their teachers. We hope that the project has provided an experience for Luton schoolchildren that will remain with them for years to come, inspiring them to be the best they can be in everything that they do.
“At Unleashing Potential, we remain committed to developing communities through innovative ways of learning, and we look forward to repeating a similar initiative in the autumn.”
David Blakeman, director of Luton Town Football Club, said: “We were delighted to be involved with this event.
“The assemblies were inspiring, and delivered in a fun, inspirational and informative way. The children went away with the message that they can aspire to be what they choose in their lives as long as they put in the hard work.
“The football club looks forward to a repeat initiative with Unleashing Potential, and hope to reach out to even more children, and inspire them to continue to think bigger and better.”
If you wish to learn more about similar initiatives of this kind, contact Amar Azam on firstname.lastname@example.org