The Club Scholars went and worked alongside Colchester United Football in the Community staff this October Half Term supporting the delivery of holiday activities and Shrub End Community Sports Centre in Colchester and the Colchester United Training ground and Florence Park in Tiptree.
First year Scholars; Bayan Aman, Jaime Tedaldi, Bradley Chakawa, Freddie Price, Jaiden Drakes-Thomas, Kaan, Bennett, Matt Yates, Sean Brown and T’aizo Marcel-Dilaver, alongside second year scholar Kacy Parish got some hands on experience coaching and working with young people across several of the Holiday Activates the club’s Community Team delivered over half term.
Freddie Price and Matt Yates worked with Community Staff supporting children who are entitled to free school meals and children whose parents require child care support on the Activate programme at Shrub End Community Sports Centre, providing sporting and enrichment activities, whilst providing lunch each day for each young peron.
Bayan Aman, Bradley Chakawa ,Jaime Tedaldi, Kaan Bennett and Jaiden Drakes-Thomas coached alongside the Girls Development Centre Staff on the girls Half Term Training Camps for both Foundation (U8-U11) and Youth Phase (U12-U16) squads.
Kacy Parish, Sean Brown and T’aizo Marcel-Dilaver went along to support the Boys U13 Development Squad fixture vs a local grass roots team at Florence Park the Colchester United Training Ground.
All the Scholars were engaging and enjoyed their experience as a coach for a day instead of a player.
Bayan Aman, U18 Midfiled Player shared “ I really enjoyed my time helping the community and it is something that I will look to do a lot more in the future. As I get older and start to begin my football career, helping and getting involved with others will not only help the community but also me. I loved it”
Natasha Dyer, Colchester United Sports & Performance Teacher & Youth Player Care Manager detailed “The Scholars work in the community was very successful for all involved. The scholars were put out of their comfort zone and on the other side of training, rather than being the player. I think this type of experience can be beneficial for many reasons for these young men in support of their future development and life experience.”
The Scholars were also visited by PFA Community Liaison Executive, Dave Palmer, who commented on the work the PFA do to support professional footballers personally and professionally “It was fantastic to catch up with club’s younger players who I know all enjoyed the sessions put on by Colchester United Football in the Community. The PFA see scholar engagement as a really important part of a young players development outside there playing environment and visits like this helps players develop an understanding of good citizenship and being a positive influence on the community. Colchester United Football in the Community have provided these opportunities for a number of years and along with the Academy should be applauded for their pro-active approach in helping the clubs future stars to improve and develop as individuals away from the pitch”
After a delay in Community engagement from the Club’s Scholars over the last 2 seasons due to Covid-19 safety measures, Colchester United Football in the Community’s Community Performance Manager, Rick Goldsbrough “It’s great to have the Club’s Scholars back with us in the community supporting the activates we provide young people in our local community as part of our half term holiday programmes. The experiences these opportunities provide these lads, supports their education they’re currently studying, helps develop their personal skills and hopefully will set them up for being roles models as first team players in the future engaging with their community.”
The Scholars community visits have been important in the past, supporting current first team players Ryan Clampin and Noah Chilvers for their roles as professional footballers and their roles as Community Ambassadors. Former Colchester United players Kieran Michaels and Louis Dunne who are now employees at the club also benefited from this supporting them in achieving full time roles at the club alongside non-league playing careers.
Look out for the Club’s Scholars out and about supporting Colchester United Football in the Community Staff again during the Xmas Holidays!