Over the course of the 2022/23 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 local youngster Jet has developed on the pitch and in the classroom – and met some Arsenal stars in the process.
Project: Premier League Inspires
Participants since starting: 1,000-plus
Weekly participants: 75-plus
Sessions: Daily in secondary schools and sixth form colleges
Available to: Young people aged 11-25 in Islington, Hackney, and Camden
About the participant: Jet, 11 and from Islington, took part in the Premier League Inspires Strong Young Gunners programme as part of a 14-strong group of Year 7 and 8 girls at her school.
Participant Jet says: “I used to train at The Arsenal Hub for a girls’ team but I didn’t realise there were other opportunities to participate in programmes at school. I was really excited to take part and didn’t need to be persuaded at all.
“When I was selected by one of my teachers I was looking forward to working with other girls in Year 7 and 8 as well as have a football coaching session with one of Arsenal in the Community’s coaches. Straight away, from the very first session, I enjoyed being part of the programme and enjoyed taking part in fun activities in the classroom followed by football skills development and mini-matches on the pitch.
“Apart from playing football, I enjoyed the teambuilding and communication activities that I took part in during the classroom sessions that make up a big chunk of the programme. This is because I really liked hearing different ideas from the other girls and working together to solve problems.
“I was also selected to represent Arsenal in the Premier League Inspires Protect the Planet challenge. I really enjoyed working with my group to plan a project that will encourage Arsenal supporters to recycle more.
“As part of this I was invited to the Arsenal training ground to meet and share our team’s project ideas with some of the first-team players and representatives from Ball, Arsenal’s official sustainable beverage packaging partner. This event was a highlight of the programme and I really enjoyed speaking to the players on camera.
“I really enjoyed working with other girls in school that I don’t usually spend time with. I also feel I have developed stronger friendships and a close bond with the girls on the programme that I was already friends with.
“I worked with Helen and Ramone from Arsenal in the Community during the Strong Young Gunners programme and PL Inspires Challenge. They are fun and I liked working with them both on the recycling project and on the pitch.
“Being part of the programme has made school more fun and I enjoyed coming to the sessions every week because, as well as reinforcing those friendships, they’ve helped me to develop new skills on and off the pitch. At school those skills have helped me work as part of a group, and the project has made me a happier and more creative person.
“I didn’t expect the classroom activities to be so fun and thought I would be learning through playing games. I also never expected to visit the training ground and meet some of the players.
“Being part of Arsenal feels special and taking part in this programme has been the best moment of my life!”
Jet got to visit the training ground and interview Arsenal players as part of the Premier League Inspires project. To find out click here
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