Students at Abbey CE Academy in Daventry were delighted last week as a coach from West Bromwich Albion visited them at school to give them a masterclass in football.
The coach, Sam Wood spent the entire day at the academy, which is part of the David Ross Education Trust, known for its sporting prowess, giving the pupils a unique opportunity to develop their football skills under world-class coaching staff.
Every class in the school spent 40 minutes on the school field with coach Sam, engaging in several different activities including passing drills, goal shooting, and full play. He provided individual support alongside group strategic direction which gave these young, budding athletes a real insight into the world of football.
At the end of each of the sessions, students showing exceptional promise from the class were selected to train with West Brom’s after-school football programme at the club, where they can continue to develop their skills as young footballers and athletes.
While football was the focus of the day, the impact of days such as this are in fact far greater.
The coaches’ visit was supported by The Albion Foundation, which is the official charity partner of West Bromwich Albion Football Club.
The vision of the foundation is to create a Proud Albion Family, and to use the power of football to deliver excellence in Wellbeing, Behaviour Change and Active Lifestyles.
The West Brom coaching staff are already looking to come back in and do more with the children at Abbey CE Academy, potentially marking the beginning of a regular, unique offering for the pupils at the school.
PE lead at Abbey CE Academy Emma Cadle said: “It was a privilege to welcome coach Sam from West Bromwich Albion to our school for a day focused on the benefits of sports.
"As a school we are deeply invested in providing our pupils with a world-class education that includes high-quality sporting opportunities, not only to inspire budding young athletes, but also to encourage all our pupils to lead healthy, active lifestyles.
"We are grateful to West Brom for providing this fantastic opportunity for our children, and look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Simon Rose, director of primary education at the trust, said: “Sporting excellence is one of the core tenets of the David Ross Education Trust’s approach to education.
"We believe that sporting excellence improves pupils’ academic attainment and encourages a healthy lifestyle that will benefit them into their adult lives.
"It was fantastic to be able to welcome the West Brom coach, who shares these passions and goals, to work with our pupils at Abbey CE Academy last week.
"Our pupils had a fantastic time and all will go on with a bolstered sense of confidence and capability to participate in competitive sport and find great enjoyment in physical activity.”