Summer Multisport Camp

Premier League Kicks Restart Multisports Activities August 2020 at May and Bakers Sports Ground

Daggers’ Players grilled by youngsters at Q & A Session

Last Friday was the culmination of a two week collaborative programme of multisport activities for 36 local children at May and Bakers Sports Ground. It was organised by the Dagenham and Redbridge FC Trust in conjunction with the Premier League Charitable Fund, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, May and Bakers Sports Club and the Daggers.

On the final day, six members of the First Team Squad, led by Captain Kenny Clark sat down after lunch in front of an enthusiastic group of youngsters aged between 6 and 12 years old who relentlessly fired a variety of probing questions at the players. The questions ranged from, “What do you like about being a professional footballer”, through to, “Do you have any fears about getting injured”. “Who is your favourite player”, “Who do you support”, “Which of you has played at the highest level” and “Which is the best team you ever played against” is just a small sample of the questions asked. The players were frank and honest about their careers and how they didn’t have a fear of injury or rejection. They were all spurred them on to achieve bigger and better things. The positivity in the room was electric and bodes well for the season to come.

After 30+ minutes of questions and answers, the players joined the youngsters in a socially distanced archery competition, just one of the wide range of multisport activity which had been on offer throughout the week. Others included football, cricket, boccia, indoor bowls. Dodgeball, fun team games to name just a few.

The staff, children and parents were able to feedback their comments at the end of each week online and the comments received were 100% positive. One child was so impressed by cricket that he went home and asked his mother if she could buy him a cricket set.

The two weeks of activities provided a multitude of opportunities for both the children and the Trust coaches to return to some form of ‘normality’ in these difficult times and allow the children to get away from their homes and take part in healthy fun exercise, learn new skills and make new friends. By holding these activities under strict COVID-19 guidelines from HMG, the FA and the Premier League, the Trust staff were introduced to the protocols and procedures necessary to restart some of their normal activities eg PL Kicks with young people. It also provided a period of respite for the parents who have acted as teachers, cooks, playleaders and parents for the last 6 months.

The project was an outstanding success and the Trust would hope to provide similar activities in the future if funding can be secured. The Trust staff will be starting their regular PL Kicks programmes next week, but to a limited number of invited participants only. They hope to return to their work in local schools shortly. It was noticeable that by the end of the second week, all of the children indicated that they were now looking forward to going back to school, a big improvement from week 1.

Each day the children had their temperatures checked on arrival and parents had to complete a COVID 19 declaration on-line to say that their child was not displaying any symptoms. The children worked in ‘Bubbles’ and equipment was sanitised throughout the day by staff.

After having all been furloughed since 16th March, every member of Trust staff was so happy to get involved and put so many smiles on the faces of so many people, including parents