A programme of workshops focussing on life skills has been organised for the Club’s Academy players. Running weekly until December, the workshops have been designed to cover a range of topics both related to and independent of the world of sport.
A number of the Vale first team players, coaches, backroom and commercial staff have agreed to give presentations as have local teachers and other professionals including Sentinel reporter Mike Baggaley.
The latest workshop featured Kick it Out Education Manager, Troy Townsend, father of Crystal Palace star Andros Townsend, who spoke to 25 boys from the Academy aged between 9 and 13. He provided typical examples of racial abuse and discussed with the boys how such abuse might be eliminated.
Troy summarised by saying: “Kick It Out has a clear objective to enable football to be a sport where people flourish in a supportive community and where fairness is openly practised for the good of everyone taking part."
Chris Taylor is the Head of Education, Safeguarding and Welfare at the Academy and has been instrumental in coordinating the workshops. “The presentations are well received by Academy players of all ages and have proved to be an excellent supplement to the work undertaken by coaches and also by teachers at schools and colleges.”
“The topics covered are intended help the boys adjust to adult life and to make informed and sensible decisions during their time at the football club."
“For boys aged 9-16 the workshops provide advice on the importance of working hard at school to achieve their academic potential and give guidance on careers within and outside football. We also provide revision strategies for boys taking GCSE courses and support members of the youth team who are taking courses at college.”
Future presentations will include: Steve Speed “A year in the life of a Groundsman”. Debbie Quaile “Commercial ideas for a football club” and Luke Hannant “From academy through non-league to first team”.