Arsenal’s Pre-Academy leadership were honoured for their work with Sporting Club Vista, a south London sports club that suffered tragedy late last year, at our final game of the season.
The role of the club’s Pre-Academy leadership team is to recruit and develop players from six to eight years old. The team set out to ensure players have fun, but also maximise their development up to the point of signing with the club’s Academy for the Under-9s group.
They have recently helped a project called Sporting Club Vista, a grassroots club in south London set up by a group of like-minded young coaches who look to provide a positive experience of playing football and developing as young men. Sadly, one of their coaches was fatally stabbed last December, which has had a huge impact on the coaches, players and parents who knew the coach well.
As part of the No More Red initiative, the Pre-Academy leadership team have engaged with Sporting Club Vista, along With Emile Smith Rowe’s dad, Les. The leadership team have attended and coached sessions, given SVP access to Hale End and talked through ways to help them build on what they do.
The project was great fun for all involved and two children have made such progress that they are now training with our Development Squad. The Pre-Academy Leadership team also delivered CPD to the Sporting Club Vista staff at Hale End, and as a result, one of the Sporting Club Vista coaches has decided to consider a career in scouting.
We would like to thank the Pre-Academy Leadership Team for delivering such an impactful project to a sports club directly affected by knife crime. Four of the team, Mark Rivers, Mark Hayman, Andy Gibbons and Ben Roberts (pictured above) received No More Red shirts at our final game of the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Well done to all.
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