Over the course of the 2023/24 season we will hear from a wide range of local people who have benefitted from Arsenal in the Community projects. Here we find out more about how Ellie, 16 and from Hertfordshire, is learning a host of new skills on our Level 2 NCFE Sports Coaching programme.
Project: NCFE Level 2 Sports Coaching Programme
“I first learned about the Level 2 NCFE Sports Coaching programme through a staff member at Arsenal while I was part of the 2022/23 Ball Squad. They were extremely helpful in extending our time at Arsenal and recommended the programme to me as I was contemplating my next steps after Year 11.
“During my time in the Ball Squad I had the opportunity to meet many people and make new friends. Many of them attended Arsenal in the Community sessions on weekends, and they encouraged me to join as well. That’s when I realised that Arsenal was involved in community work.
“I didn’t need any persuasion to apply for the Sports Coaching course. I’ve always aspired to a career in football, and being a massive Arsenal fan I knew it was the best opportunity for me moving forward.
On my first visit to the Arsenal Hub for the programme, all the staff members already knew my name. This made me feel extremely welcome, like I was already a part of the Arsenal family. On top of that, all the other students made an effort to introduce themselves, ensuring that I felt included and respected.
“During my time on the course I’ve attended numerous workshops and events. We have fun but also learn about important topics within football and society. My favorite so far has to be the Arsenal No More Red workshop, where we had the opportunity to style adidas football shirts in the adidas store. Not only did this raise my awareness and understanding of the campaign, but it was also enjoyable, and we got the chance to socialise with other people who share an interest in Arsenal.
“I’ve been surprised by the number of amazing opportunities I’ve been part of. Every week we’re presented with different workshops to attend, meet new people from the industry and learn new things.
“Since joining the Level 2 course I’ve formed some amazing friendships. This has been important because we all share common interests and are working toward similar goals. These friendships have been crucial to me as I feel we support each other in everything we do, both on and off the course, and help each other when needed the most.
“All the Arsenal staff, teachers, and coaches are incredible. They are always rooting for your success and encouraging you to do your best. They also take the time to get to know each and every student, making you feel at home and pushing you to do better.
“I feel that my skillset is continuously growing since joining the Level 2 course – something that may not have happened if I had chosen a standard college course. Specifically, I believe I’ve improved my communication skills, perseverance, patience and the ability to motivate others. I’ve also gained independence and confidence, especially when socialising with new people and visiting new places.
“As an Arsenal fan I feel proud of being involved in such an amazing community and grateful for having such amazing opportunities and people around me. I would definitely recommend others to join the Level 2 course – it’s an amazing experience to be involved in.”
For more information email our Sports Study Programme teacher Holly Walker at email@example.com
Being an ally
“This month is Black History Month and I believe that being an ally to Black people is crucial as it provides an opportunity to understand and learn about different cultures around the world,” says Ellie.
“Being an ally allows me to better comprehend the struggles that individuals from diverse cultures have faced, contributing to my learning and personal growth. This term, we had a “Show Racism the Red Card” workshop that included a guest panel of former Arsenal player Perry Groves and former England test cricketer Monty Panesar. Attending the workshop was essential as it gave me the opportunity to actively learn, participate in tackling racism, and hopefully bring about a more positive outcome for society.
“A Black person I look up to is Alex Scott. She inspires me because not only has she achieved success in an industry that has historically been predominantly male and white, but she has also faced considerable adversity as a Black female in sports and has shown remarkable resilience throughout her career. Alex Scott is an inspiration to all.
“Diversity in football is vital because the game is for everyone, and no one should be judged based on their race or culture. Football should be a sport where we all come together and support one another, both our teams and the people who love the sport.”
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