Arsenal in the Community’s work goes far beyond sport and the department has been at the forefront of pioneering education initiatives which harness the attraction of football and engage young people to such an extent that the Arsenal Double Club, one of the projects devised by the Club, has been used as a blueprint by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

Arsenal in the Community recognised its ability to contribute to education and training over two decades ago when the Club adopted the Government’s Action Sport scheme aimed at engaging young people through sport.  These types of initiatives are still going strong with the current day versions, the Arsenal Entry 2 Employment programme and the BTEC Traineeship. 

A common thread throughout many Arsenal in the Community’s projects is that young people who have been participants or volunteers on the schemes have progressed to become employees of the Club who then deliver the projects, which is testament to their evolution and success.  The trainees are no different and many have remained at Arsenal Football Club, whilst others have carved successful careers elsewhere in the leisure industry and in the teaching profession.

Over its 25 year history, the Club has made a commitment to using the Arsenal name to motivate individuals from primary school right through to adulthood.

Premier League & PFA Community Fund

Premier League - Creating Chances

The Arsenal Double Club
The Arsenal Double Club has its roots in the ‘double’ winning season of 1998 when Arsenal in the Community piloted a scheme which fused football with literacy learning.  The ‘double’ experience began with pupils in primary schools, local to Highbury and the Arsenal Training Centre in Hertfordshire, using football and Arsenal related resources to improve literacy skills for 45 minutes in the classroom.  This was followed by a football coaching session with an Arsenal in the Community coach for another 45 minutes– mirroring the two halves of a football match. 

Since its successful pilot, the Arsenal Double Club is used in primary and secondary schools, Pupil Referral Units, on Arsenal in the Community’s estates programmes and in prisons.  It incorporates a wide portfolio of academic subjects including science, healthy living, modern languages and geography and is being rolled out across the UK to around 40 sports clubs through a programme funded by the DCSF, which has already reached 10,000 people since it started. 

The Arsenal Double Club has taught academic skills to over 15,000 pupils at Key Stage 2 and 3 and thanks to funding from the Premier League/PFA Community Fund (managed and administered by the Football Foundation), Arsenal in the Community is running 28 after-school clubs in Islington, Camden and Borehamwood primary schools, two after-school clubs in special schools and seven after-school, weekend and holiday clubs on Homes for Islington (HFI) estates aimed at young people.

The Arsenal Double Club is continually looking to develop new modules.  It is hoped to have Key Stage 2 and 3 modules in each subject area.  There is a need for good Key Stage 1 and 4 resources and the Club is working with Cambridge Education@Islington on its 14-19 diplomas. 

Contact: Ross McKinley 0207 704 4147.

Premier League Reading Stars
The Premier League Reading Stars initiative has been running since 2003 and sees one player from each club nominate their favourite adult and children’s book.  The initiative is a partnership between the Football Foundation, the National Literacy trust, the Premier League and the Arts Council England. 

Arsenal in the Community partners with three local libraries, running workshops for 30 different families in North London between February and June each year.

Families attend a minimum of six sessions at their local library, taking part in a number of literacy promoting activities, including the chance to read free copies of the books chosen by the Premier League players, culminating in the chance for the groups to meet Arsenal’s Reading Star.

Over the past seven seasons, Arsenal have helped coordinate 20 library projects, recruiting over 400 parents and children, enabling families to take home and keep over £3000 worth of free books from Waterstones bookstore.

  • 75 per cent of children say they now read more because they know that footballers read
  • 84 per cent of children felt that they are now reading more with their family
  • 93 per cent of children said they will read more regularly because of participating on Premier

League Reading Stars
Contact: John Olaleye 020 7704 4159.

Arsenal Study Support Centre
The Arsenal Study Support Centre based at Holloway School is a joint venture between the Club, Cambridge Education@islington and the DCSF which provides after-school 10-week courses in literacy, numeracy and ICT skills.  Approximately 360 pupils attend the sessions each year which means over 3,500 young people have attended the centre over its 10 year history.

During the daytime, the centre is open and offers bespoke courses to schools offering gifted and talented sessions and courses tailored to suit individual curriculum needs.

Pupils on the after school programme enjoy a stadium tour, receive match programmes and receive Arsenal merchandise - including match tickets - to reward success and hard work which is celebrated at an end of term event with an Arsenal player at Emirates Stadium.

Contact: Steve Wilson 020 7697 8467.

Entry 2 Employment
The Arsenal Entry 2 Employment scheme in partnership with Springboard Islington offers a wide range of training and education opportunities at Arsenal Football Club for employment in the leisure industry.  The project targets 16-19 years olds who are not in education, training or employment.  The 16-week course offers valuable skills and opportunities in literacy, numeracy, key skills and personal and social development.

Arsenal has made a contribution to the development of over 450 young people through the project and many former participants can still be found around the Club today.

Contact: Jamie Monteith 020 7704 4145.

Arsenal BTEC National Certificate in Sport
In partnership with City of Westminster College, this two year course offers 16-18 year-old students the chance to gain qualifications and practical experience.  Progression pathways are to employment or further study.  19 year-old Omotayo Kosoko is currently undertaking the programme and is looking forward to London 2012 and using the skills learnt during her time with the department in some way in the near future. 

Contact: Martin Davis  020 7704 4156.

Arsenal Positive Futures (link to Positive Futures) teamed up with Radio Waves for the first time in 2009 to deliver the successful Supporter2Reporter project. Supporter2Reporter engages young people on local community programmes, like Positive Futures, providing rich social media experiences that give young people journalistic responsibility and challenge them to develop their skills for a real, global audience.  Arsenal’s Supporter2Reporter project has had its first group of young reporters achieve their accreditation reporting on a Gunners’ first team fixture, which allowed the participants to build their confidence in a media friendly environment, providing hands-on experience at being a journalist.
Contact: Dean Miller

Further Education
Arsenal in the Community has recently partnered with neighbours London Metropolitan University to launch Arsenal Business Case Studies for A-Level, BTEC and Business and Finance 14-19 Diploma students.  The resources provide factual and practical insights into the commercial world of professional football and are accompanied by DVDs with Club management talking about the marketing mix, operations management, media and customer service experience.

In addition to this, Arsenal in the Community has partnered with City and Islington College for its Foundation Degree in Football and Community Sports Coaching which gives students the opportunity to complete the final year of a Honours Degree in Sports Science and Coaching at London Metropolitan University.

Contact: Samir Singh 020 7704 4158.

Arsenal Learning Centre
As part of the Emirates Stadium project, the Arsenal Learning Centre was built which provides a range of education, activities and courses to adults, children and young people.  The Club provides free computer training to around 450 people each year, helping students gain qualification, improve their confidence in IT and have fun whilst learning new skills.

For information on the latest courses contact: Sandra Gaudan 020 7704 4500.

Arsenal Launches Football Foundation Degree

Alan Smith at the Foundation Degree launch

Alan Smith at the Foundation Degree launch

Arsenal Football Club has joined forces with City & Islington College and London Metropolitan University to offer a football and coaching foundation degree. The course was launched at Emirates Stadium on Monday 29th March and was attended by Arsenal Legend, Alan Smith with an address by Arsenal's Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Gazidis.

Football and Community Sports Coaching with Arsenal Football Club is a two year programme which will enable students to learn the key elements of community sports coaching with a particular focus on football.

It also gives students a direct entry path into university, with the opportunity to enter the final year of an Honours Degree in Sports Science and Coaching at London Metropolitan University.

Many of those who complete the course will go on to work in the ever-expanding sports coaching industry and perhaps even work with Arsenal football Club.

Alan Sefton, Head of Arsenal in the Community said: "This partnership is testament to how Arsenal in the Community continues to expand its offering to young people. It provides an opportunity to gain hands on, practical experience for those with a real interest in sports coaching who wish to study at a higher level."

Asa Sanderson, Course Manager, added: "This is a fantastic opportunity for students who have a passion for sport and harbour ambitions of having a career in coaching."

"We are delighted to forge strong links through this degree with Arsenal. Having such a world famous football club on board means our students can benefit from some world-class coaching and input."

Frank McLoughlin, Principal of City & Islington College, commented: "Collaborating with Arsenal on this exciting new course is a real coup for the college. We are thrilled to be working with such a high profile sporting name and it's a major boost for everyone involved."

Arsenal in The Community was established in 1985 and was one of the first of its kind in professional football. It is committed to offering a range of sporting, social inclusion, educational and charitable projects, to the local and wider community.

Arsenal Football Club recognised its ability to contribute to education and training over two decades ago when the Club adopted a Government scheme aimed at engaging young people through sport. These initiatives are still going strong today with the Arsenal Entry 2 Employment programme and the BTEC traineeship.

Taster sessions will be coordinated at London Metropolitan University on 28th June and 8th July 2010.

The course has start dates in both February and September 2010. For more information or to apply:

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
19 Feb 2010