The Arsenal Foundation has helped to fund Crown & Manor’s Junior Club for young boys aged seven and up. Artie, aged 11 from Islington, tells us about it.
“I live at home with my mum – I’m an only child – and I spend all of my spare weekday time at Crown & Manor.
“The launch of the Junior Club was delayed, first by Covid and then because the whole club had to close due to damage from a power outage, but it’s now properly up and running and in its third term. I heard about it because I attended the Crown & Manor football club, which runs on Monday afternoons, and because I enjoyed that I thought the Junior Club would be good.
“The club runs five days a week from 3.30pm to 5.30pm, and there are nearly 30 of us boys who go. It’s nearly full, as there’s only room for 30. The club is run using the same format as the main part of the club for older teenagers but opens earlier so we can use all of the club’s facilities.
“The main club is for older boys and they are encouraged to make more decisions for themselves, to develop their sense of responsibility, but that’s what we’re aiming towards as we get older. We are also taught about the club’s core values – respect, teamwork, friendship and fun – right from the start.
“We do homework for the first hour and activities for the second. We do our homework with help from Jason Mason, who runs the Junior Club, and his assistant Flamur Kelmendi, and it’s really good to be able to get it done when we need to. It’s a lot more fun than doing it at home.
“Then there is a choice of activity: there are arts and crafts for the less sporty, and then there are things for those of us with energy to run off. We have football tournaments and play table tennis, Nerf Gun battles and street dance. We also go on amazing trips in the school holidays or at weekends. We’ve been to the Stubbers and Hindleap Warren adventure centres, the theatre, Winchester College, Southend, Laser Quest and lots more.
“Going to the club has been great for me because I’ve made lots of new friends – children my age and older. It’s a great place to speak to people, and when we’re not playing sport we’ll be talking about it with Jason and Flamur. Being an only child I can get bored at home and the club is so much fun.
“I’m an Arsenal fan and my favourite player is Bukayo Saka, of course! We know that Arsenal donated money last October to help the club and I think it’s great that the Arsenal Foundation helps support local charities – that the club gives back to its local community. Islington supports Arsenal so it’s good that Arsenal does the same for Islington.”
Visit crownandmanor.org.uk for more information
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