Children from SEN Schools Get Exclusive Training Session at Harper’s Park
Plymouth Argyle Football Club joined 71 other EFL Clubs today (Tuesday 10 March) to highlight the positive impact football has in changing people’s lives and the work taking place to tackle some of society’s biggest issues.
Welcoming 20 children from SEN schools with their teachers and support staff, the Argyle first team opened the gates of Harper’s Park for an exclusive look into their training regime, which was followed by the children having their own training session and mini game.
Pupils from Longcause Community Special School and Courtlands Special School also met the Manager Ryan Lowe and were able to ask him questions as well as have a photo with the entire first team squad.
“It’s big for us here to make sure we’re in and part of the community,” said Plymouth Argyle Manager Ryan Lowe, “We are one big family and want to do as much as we can.
“The health and disability programmes are especially important to us and meeting these great kids today has been brilliant, seeing their love for the game and happy to run around and play in this weather just reminds us how lucky we are to do this every day.”
Argyle Community Trust, the Club’s charitable arm, run a number of weekly football coaching sessions for both children and adults with disabilities, including visiting SEN schools to deliver.
Jack, a pupil from Longcause said: “When I saw Home Park Stadium I just thought, wow, this place is massive and just couldn’t believe that I was lucky enough to be here.”
“Today’s been great as I’ve been able to play with other people who I have never met before and play lots of games. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I will never forget it.”
Class Teacher at Courtlands, Leah Hopkinson, said: “The children have been so excited, it’s been really inspirational as the day has shown them that they can achieve anything they want, including being a footballer.
“For any children to have the opportunity to play sport it’s so important. Both the competitive and fun side is essential to learning, development and just feeling good about yourself.”
Across the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two, events have been held by Clubs to showcase the very best programmes and activity they deliver in a number of important areas, including diversity and inclusion, education, health and wellbeing.
The impact of the work carried out by EFL Clubs and Club Community Organisations (CCOs) is unparalleled, with more than half a million hours of group activity delivered and over 40 million hours of participation each season.
During the 2018/19 season, almost 900,000 people took part in a wide range of activities across key areas, with Clubs and CCOs receiving over £60 million of direct project funding. In Plymouth alone the Community Trust delivered 13,014 hours of engagement to 56,174 people, activities were spread across:
- 44 different initiatives
- 152 programmes
- 5,387 sessions
Argyle Community Trust CEO, Mark Lovell, said: “Plymouth Argyle has a unique position in the heart of Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall and it is important that we celebrate the work we carry out, which improves lives and tackles some of society’s biggest issues on a daily basis.
“The recent study commissioned by the EFL shows that Argyle’s work in the community is happening on a huge scale and is making a real difference.
“The hours committed by staff and volunteers at the Club and Trust, as well as the support from the players and manager, demonstrates a remarkable commitment to improving lives and really being a community club.”