AC­TION PLAN UNITES CLUBS

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Tom Black­ett

EFL clubs showed their spirit by com­ing to­gether to take part in the first-ever EFL Com­mu­nity Day of Ac­tion on Tues­day.

The 72 clubs show­cased the sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive ef­fect they are hav­ing in their lo­cal ar­eas through­out the year, work­ing with more than a mil­lion peo­ple in foot­ball-led com­mu­nity pro­grammes and ac­tiv­i­ties ev­ery sea­son.

The Com­mu­nity Day of Ac­tion at­tracted widespread at­ten­tion for the ac­tiv­ity of EFL club trusts, who co­or­di­nated a va­ri­ety of projects across key ar­eas of sport, ed­u­ca­tion, health and well­be­ing plus com­mu­nity en­gage­ment.

In­spir­ing

QPR sup­porter James Casling’s in­spir­ing story, fea­tured on the BBC’s Vic­to­ria Der­byshire pro­gramme, set the tone for high­light­ing the lifechang­ing im­pact clubs can achieve.

The R’s fan at­tempted to take his own life on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions after his fa­ther com­mit­ted sui­cide.

But play­ing foot­ball for Rangers’ men­tal health team gave him re­newed hope and en­thu­si­asm for life. Don­caster Rovers held a com­mu­nity takeover day with health and well-be­ing, Na­tional Cit­i­zen Ser­vice (NCS) and foot­ball ses­sions all fea­tur­ing, while Check­a­trade Com­mu­nity Club of the Year

Portsmouth also ran numer­ous events for their lo­cal com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing a Wheels For All group.

De­fender Chris­tian Burgess was in at­ten­dance and showed his sup­port by tak­ing part in the event.

Bris­tol Rovers Com­mu­nity Trust in­vited their Ex­tra Time Club, who are over the age of 60, to join first team play­ers and the club’s man­age­ment for a phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity ses­sion and quiz. At Wi­gan Ath­letic, pupils in year six at St Peter’s Hind­ley Pri­mary

School were given an ex­clu­sive tour of the club’s train­ing cen­tre, be­fore first team play­ers Matt Gilks and Craig Mor­gan took part in a dis­abil­ity foot­ball ses­sion as part of the Ev­ery Player Counts pro­gramme.

Charl­ton Ath­letic Com­mu­nity Trust ed­u­cated young peo­ple about knife crime at Wool­wich Com­mon Hub.

The par­ents of Jimmy Mizen, who was mur­dered in 2008 in south-east Lon­don, spoke about knife crime.

Charl­ton play­ers Bran­don Han­lan and Jor­dan Bo­taka were in at­ten­dance to share per­sonal sto­ries and show their sup­port to­wards the club’s work to com­bat the is­sue. Lu­ton Town also gave their full back­ing to the com­mu­nity day with a hat­trick of ac­tiv­i­ties.

Hat­ters cap­tain Scott Cuth­bert was ac­com­pa­nied by team-mates Olly Lee and Dan Potts to Chall­ney Boys School, where the club’s com­mu­nity trust put on reg­u­lar coach­ing ses­sions.

In ad­di­tion, Lu­ton de­fender Johnny Mullins and Lu­ton Ladies winger Dionne Man­ning posed for pictures at the side of the pitch, to show the Hat­ters are united in sup­port of the Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety De­men­tia Aware­ness cam­paign. Fi­nally, a re­serve game at Ke­nil­worth Road was watched by a crowd of 43 res­i­dents from Hey­wood House day care cen­tre.

Ac­tion

EFL Trust chair­man John Nixon said: “Our clubs en­gage with peo­ple from all walks of life and the EFL Com­mu­nity Day of Ac­tion has been a fan­tas­tic ef­fort.

“Foot­ball in­spires peo­ple to do ac­tiv­i­ties they wouldn’t nor­mally do and all 72 clubs work hard in ar­eas such as health, in­clu­sion, sport and ed­u­ca­tion.

“Ap­prox £50mil­lion is be­ing in­vested ev­ery sea­son by the EFL Trust and Club Com­mu­nity Trusts into th­ese key ar­eas and the Com­mu­nity Day of Ac­tion has brought ev­ery­thing to life.”

GAME ON: Lu­ton play­ers vis­ited Chall­ney Boys School DO­ING THEIR BIT: Wi­gan play­ers Matt Gilks, left, and Craig Mor­gan took part in a dis­abil­ity foot­ball ses­sion

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