Arsenal Football Club recently made a visit to a primary school in Beijing to see the impact of a project supported by the Arsenal Foundation. During the visit, Arsenal’s Tony Gu, director of international business development, China and Asia, attended an interactive physical education class with the pupils.
“The club first visited this particular school back in July 2012 to launch a teacher-training programme, run by global charity partner Save the Children, to help give teachers the skills they require to deliver effective and age-appropriate lessons.
“This initiative, funded by the Arsenal Foundation, has since helped to dramatically improve the quality of education at the school, which is in an area of Beijing where the quality of education is often below the national standard.
“When we returned, Arsenal gave sports equipment and stationery to the students as a thank you for welcoming the club back to the project. It was fantastic to see the pupils now receiving a much higher standard of education compared with when I first visited in 2012.
“What’s more, the teachers are so grateful for the training they’ve had. We were warmly welcomed, and one of the teachers told us she had little opportunity to receive official training before Arsenal and Save the Children became involved.
“Now she feels more capable and confident to teach. It was so inspiring to revisit the school and will certainly spur us on to continue raising funds so we can support more projects like this. We are determined to continue Arsenal’s tradition of contributing to our community continuously.
“Since Arsenal’s partnership with Save the Children began in 2012, the charity has been working in 22 under-resourced schools in Beijing for migrant children, and has conducted teacher training for 285 teachers and management training for 31 school principles. As a result, the project has benefited a total of 26,675 children aged from six to 15.
“The PE lesson made me realise what an important role sport plays in children’s health and character development. When I attended their PE class and taught some basic football skills to the children, they were so excited and couldn’t wait to start playing.
“Who knows, as well as inspiring me, perhaps in 10 years’ time we will have inspired them and helped to find the next Thierry Henry from this school.”