This summer, sporteducate member Football Beyond Borders took a group of Year 7 boys (11-12 year olds) from Archbishop Lanfranc School in Croydon on a football tour to Scotland. The tour lasted five days and was organised to supplement the wider project that the organisation is running to work with young football players who face barriers to their education.
The tour aimed to build upon the weekly homework and mentoring sessions that have been running as part of Sported and Deutsche Bank’s sporteducate programme by taking the boys out of London. Key objectives included building the team’s sense of responsibility and individual self-esteem, improving their attitudes to learning, as well as acting as a reward for their committed attitude to the programme thus far.
A football focus remained a cornerstone of the tour with five football matches ranging from small sided tournament to 11-a-side games on professional training grounds. The trip was hosted by the Scottish Football Partnership who took great pride in ensuring that the boys had an action packed and enjoyable stay. The boys developed tremendously as a team on the pitch remaining unbeaten in Scotland culminating in 6-3 victory over Queens Park Academy at the Scottish National Football Centre. Throughout the trip the boys were treated as a professional outfit having been provided with brand new kits and tracksuits for the tour from Sporple and receiving coaching from local professionals. They also received an exclusive tour of the national football museum and football stadium which was soon to be used for the Commonwealth Games this summer.
The tour was about more than football however. All pupils on Football Beyond Border’s sporteducate programme are at a high risk of being marginalised due to academic underachievement and misbehaviour at school. The tour then, was a unique opportunity for the young boys to reflect on their progress and relationship with education, learn about themselves and develop as individuals. There was also a real emphasis to get the boys mixing with local people to broaden their outlook with many of them having never left London. In order to facilitate this, the first and last nights of the trip were spent camping on a farm in the Lake District, which was a first for many of the boys. Despite being slightly perplexed at the prospect of chicken and pig farming they were soon mucking in!
One of the participants, Matthew commented that “This trip has been amazing, it makes me feel part of a family, we have developed as team and I know it is helping me as an individual as I am now working harder and staying out of trouble.”
Football Beyond Borders will continue to work with the same set of boys for the next two years.
Jasper Kain from Football Beyond Borders said “The trip has allowed us to learn more about the boys and put in place specific targeted support for each one of them next year. We hope to run more trips like this for the boys in the future as it was a unique chance for them to develop as individuals both on and off the football pitch.”
If you are interested in supporting or running a similar project please contact: email@example.com