All Star Futsal showcase to take place at England’s St George’s Park

An All Star tournament, showcasing the best male players on the EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme will take place at the home of English Football; St George’s Park on Thursday.

Players and coaches were nominated from each club within their regions to represent a South East, South West, Midlands and North West squad in EFL Trust’s first futsal All Star tournament.

The EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme offers 16-18 year olds (male and female) the chance to find passes on and off the pitch at EFL clubs as they learn, train, play and work.

The pioneering programme is aimed at young people with a passion for sport and a desire to progress to university or work in sport and offers up the opportunity of playing and training in inspiring venues across the country.

A number of former and current students have also gone on to represent their country overseas, including Chelsea FC’s James Black at England U19 level, who has also been chosen to represent the South East All Star squad this Thursday.

Unlike regular college courses, students are able to study via an online platform, as they swap the mundane classroom to learn within a sporting environment.

Player selections for the All Star tournament were based on high-level performances on both the futsal court and in the classroom.

Take a look at the ‘ones to watch’ from each regional squad below:

 

 

To find out more about the EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme visit: http://www.efltrust.com/futsal/

Stevenage FC become latest club to sign up to USW Football Foundation Degree

Stevenage FC Foundation have teamed up with the University of South Wales and EFL Trust to launch a brand-new foundation degree for aspiring coaches to study a higher education course whilst gaining practical experience out in the local community.

The Foundation’s two-year Foundation Degree programme is a course designed for individuals wanting to attain a university qualification and are passionate about pursuing a career in the football industry.

Students develop the necessary skills, qualities and characteristics that are required to work within professional football club community departments or national governing bodies.

Delivered in partnership with the University of South Wales, Stevenage FC Foundation become one of over 35 clubs across the country to deliver the course including Shrewsbury Town, Newport County and Sheffield Wednesday.

All lectures, seminars and tutorials are delivered in a supportive and inspirational club environment, based predominantly within your own football club via online material. This is supported with residential stays at the University of South Wales campus in Cardiff where students from all the clubs, come together twice a year.

Alongside the academic element of the course, students will complete up to 200 hours of voluntary coaching within the community, alongside the Foundation staff, allowing the students to embed and develop the coaching techniques learnt within lectures.

Through the Foundation’s partnership with the University of South Wales, all students will be enrolled as a student at the university. Students will be able to access the university’s online library, blackboard and learning materials, providing them with the best possible learning platform to excel within.

Head of Foundation, Joe Goude said, “We are incredibly excited about the being able to bring the USW Foundation Degree to Stevenage. This is something we’ve been working on for nearly a year now and we cannot wait to get started.

“We already have a fantastic apprenticeship pathway in place for further education with Sporting Futures Training and this is the next tier of that pathway that will allow those apprentices to progress to a higher education programme whilst continuing to build on their practical experience out in our community.

“This programme has seen great success elsewhere in the country with some amazing examples of what students have gone on to achieve and the Foundation is looking to replicate that success locally, to create a viable pathway for people to gain new knowledge, but it into practice in the local community and ultimately make themselves more employable.”

Prerequisites to Apply:

  • BTEC Level 3 – MPP. A Level – DD
  • Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check
  • Three A*-C grades at GCSE, including English and maths

More details of the course can be found here.

Clubs unite for EFL Day of Action

All 72 EFL clubs and their community trusts will come together on the same day for the EFL’s Day of Action to demonstrate the positive impact football can have in changing young people’s lives.

From Plymouth to Peterborough and Sunderland to Southend, on Tuesday 20th March, EFL clubs across all three divisions will showcase the innovative and ground breaking work they do for young people in tackling some of the biggest issues in society across education, health, community inclusion and participation.

Managers and players from the EFL’s 72 clubs will be attending events up and down the country including projects that target mental health, disability and obesity.

In London, Millwall are running a mental health football tournament being held in memory of one of their players who recently died. Over 100 people are due to take part in the Dwain Inniss Cup with manager Neil Harris on hand to offer his support.

Six first team players from Bristol City will be seeing the innovative work of the club’s Youth Council, a group of young people that are making a big impact in their local area by shaping and delivering Bristol City’s community activities including girls, disability and street football. Whilst neighbours Bristol Rovers are inviting their 16-18 year old disability squad to join the first team for a training session lead by manager Darrell Clarke, followed by lunch with the first team squad.

In Yorkshire, Doncaster Rovers have committed to a whole day of activity, including a special appearance from midfielder Matty Blair, who has fronted the club’s efforts to raise awareness of mental health by drawing on his own personal experiences after the loss of his brother Ross to cancer in August 2017.

In the Midlands, Derby County will be celebrating the success of their cancer recovery programme over the past twelve months, with appearances from former Birmingham City striker Geoff Horsfield and Celtic and Aston Villa midfielder Stylian Petrov, who themselves have been affected by the illness.

There is plenty of activity being held by League Two clubs, with Cambridge United showcasing their Enterprise Project, an innovative new programme designed to help secondary school students develop their entrepreneurial and employability skills. School children in Lincoln will be running the Sport Relief Mile around the pitch at Cecil Park alongside players from the Club to raise money for the charity.

EFL Chairman, Ian Lenagan said:

“Football continues to support its communities seven days a week, 365 days a year through our unique network of Club community trusts.

“Bringing all 72 together on one day for the EFL Day of Action highlights the special role the EFL has in society and our collective ability to make a positive and lasting impact to the lives of millions of people.

“It is fantastic to see so many managers and players across England and Wales coming out in support of the excellent work being undertaken by their own Club right in the heart of their own community.

“There are few sporting organisations that can deliver the scale of innovative and ground breaking activity we do via our network of Clubs across so many important areas, including inclusion, charitable causes, community engagement, education or health.”

EFL Community Club of the Year Regional Winners awarded at House of Commons

Six EFL Checkatrade Community Club of the Year regional winners have collected their awards at a ceremony held at the House of Commons to mark their outstanding work.

The awards are designed to recognise the best performing club community trusts around the country, as well as some of the key individuals associated to the projects, whether that be in a participating or coaching capacity.

Following an application process open to all 72 EFL clubs, Blackburn Rovers, Portsmouth, Charlton Athletic, Bristol City, Derby County and Middlesbrough were all celebrated for their innovative and ground-breaking work across multiple areas over the past year.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Marsh/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9456968ad)
North West Checkatrade Community Club of the Year Winners Blackburn Rovers.
EFL Community Awards, Terrace Pavilion, Houses of Parliament, London, UK – 12 Mar 2018

The evening, sponsored by Andrew Griffiths MP, was hosted by broadcaster Colin Murray with EFL Chairman Ian Lenagan and Sports Minister Tracey Crouch just some of those to acknowledge the work of not only the six regional winners, but the club trusts across the EFL.

Mike Evans, Director of Operations of the EFL Trust, expressed his admiration of the work currently being done across all 72 Club Trusts, saying: “Today has shown us a snapshot of what is going on right across the country, highlighting the sheer breadth of work that all 72 EFL clubs and their Trusts do on a daily basis.

“We have seen a variety of projects showcased from the six regional winners, from participants on bicycles and mental health programmes to schemes involving 80 year olds, education and primary school children.

“It has been a fantastic event and only reflects the strength and diversity of applications we have received for the Community Club of the Year process this year.”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Marsh/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9456968w)
Yorkshire and North East Checkatrade Community Club of the Year Winners Middlesbrough.
EFL Community Awards, Terrace Pavilion, Houses of Parliament, London, UK – 12 Mar 2018

Chairman of the EFL, Ian Lenagan added: “It is a fitting environment for recognising excellence and we are here today to celebrate the outstanding work and impact that EFL clubs and their Trusts make on a daily basis, seven days a week, 365 days a year in communities nationwide.

“Football clubs have a special role in society, with a unique ability to make a positive impact on the lives of millions of supporters in so many ways.

“There is no other outlet or collective that can deliver the scale of activity we see from our network of clubs across so many important areas – whether it’s innovative and groundbreaking work across inclusion, charitable causes, community engagement, education and health – it is football that delivers.”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Marsh/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9456968i)
South West and Wales Checkatrade Community Club of the Year Winners Bristol City.
EFL Community Awards, Terrace Pavilion, Houses of Parliament, London, UK – 12 Mar 2018

The overall Checkatrade Community Club of the Year winner will be unveiled at the EFL Awards, taking place at The Hilton on Park Lane, London, on 15th April.

120 women of 30 different nationalities gather in Portsmouth to celebrate International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, around 120 women from across Portsmouth gathered in the Victory Suite at Fratton Park on Monday, for an evening that blended cultures and allowed women to share their own individual experiences.

Guests enjoyed speeches and a dinner courtesy of the Akash Bangladeshi restaurant before entertainment from “Asian Female DJ” who provided a mixture of Bhangra, traditional dancing and games – followed by a traditional British barn dance.

Speakers included:

Rowshonara Reza – Community  Development Officer, Independence & Wellbeing Team at Portsmouth City Council.

Poppy Jaman –  CEO and founding member of Mental Health First Aid England who received an OBE from the Queen on Tuesday – grew up in Portsmouth and came down from London for the dinner.

Superintendent Maggie Blyth –  District Police Commander Portsmouth, Maggie has only been in post for 3 weeks so the dinner provided a great opportunity for her to meet some of the diverse groups within the city.

Alex Cuppleditch – Cycling UK, organising an event for local women, mainly muslim, who have never cycled before – their celebration event is on March 8th.

Mandy Webb – Artist, who had a display of her unique life size dresses that demonstrate women’s hidden history.

Rowshonara Reza, who organised the event jointly with Pompey in the Community CEO, Clare Martin said that celebrations like this were important for women everywhere.

She said: ‘There is a real variety of cultures and nationalities here this evening, which is wonderful.

“I think it is very important to understand one another’s differences and welcome them, rather than hide from them.

“For example, women in Islam have had the vote for 1,400 years, whereas it has only been 100 years here in the UK.

“But differences aren’t always looked at in a positive light, and I think that understanding these differences is key to our society. We are all here to have fun and enjoy ourselves, but there is a deeper meaning behind this evening.” 

One of those who attended the dinner was Julie Crook, manager of the Fratton Community Centre.

She said: At the community centre we also see a diverse range of people, so we are very interested in events like this. 

 “If you don’t know the right people it can be tough to tap into certain demographics, so events like this are really important for breaking down barriers between different cultures.”

Clare Martin from Pompey in the Community said: “There are around 30 different nationalities among the 120 women here tonight, which is great.

“I think it is really important to raise awareness of the differences in cultures between women across the world, but also to celebrate them. One of my most memorable moments from the evening was playing musical chairs with Superintendent Maggie Blyth, District Police Commander Portsmouth and Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council – it was fabulous to see everyone giggling and enjoying the evening together!”

International Women’s Day – 8th March

March 8 sees the annual International Women’s Day campaign kick-off for the year ahead, with this year’s theme focusing around #PressforProgress.

Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress. A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

International Women’s Day is not country, group or organisation specific. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. So together, let’s all be tenacious in accelerating gender parity. Collectively, let’s all Press for Progress.

To find out more visit: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

 

Gabi: “I thought it might be difficult being one of few girls on the team – but everyone is treated exactly the same.”

To mark International Women’s Day 2018, EFL Trust have highlighted the efforts of motivated teenager Gabrielle Richardson, who has ambitions of becoming a full-time PE teacher.

Gabrielle, who is a current student on the EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme with Mansfield Town in the Community, says the support she has received from the club on her education pathway has been second to none.

After undertaking her GCSE’s and not getting the grades she had initially hoped for, the 16-year-old was unsure of what route to take next.

However an opportunity to go on the Traineeship programme with Mansfield Town helped to set her on a career pathway.

The EFL Trust Traineeship programme is designed to help those struggling academically to gain work experience and learn new skills based at a professional football club.

For 3 months, students spend 3 days a week shadowing professional members of club staff and community football coaches whilst obtaining valuable insight into working in the variety of opportunities in sport and leisure.

It was during her time as a trainee when Gabrielle realised her career aspiration – to become a full-time PE teacher.

She commented: “The Traineeship programme was brilliant for me and the staff at the club have been so supportive from day one.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to coach young children the most. It’s so fulfilling as I was in their position once and to pass on your knowledge and experience is the best.

“Coaching and inspiring young people has made me realise I would really love to one day become a PE teacher.’’

After completing the Traineeship, Gabrielle enjoyed her time with Mansfield Town that much, she continued onto the club’s BTEC Futsal and Education Programme.

Gabrielle is one of three females out of 13 students on the programme and admits she felt a little reluctant about this at first.

She continued: “At first, I thought it might be quite difficult being one of few girls on the team, but it’s never been an issue.

“You see no difference in training and the lads really accepted us from day one – we’re all treated exactly the same.

“I would highly recommend the Futsal and Education Programme to anyone.’’

Looking forward, as well as achieving the results she wants, Gabrielle is also hoping to become a female role model at a local school next year, working alongside the school’s female football development coach.

Elizabeth Regan, Education Officer at Mansfield Town in the Community, has been supporting Gabrielle throughout her time as a trainee and on the Futsal programme.

Elizabeth commented: “When Gabrielle first started with us, she was very quiet and wasn’t really sure what she wanted to do.

“It was clear from day one that she is very pro-active in getting involved with everything and is brilliant at coaching the young children, she is a fantastic female role model.

“She has really developed her confidence and I have no doubt that if she continues to work hard, she would one day make a fantastic PE teacher.’’

To find out more about the EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme visit: http://www.efltrust.com/futsal/

 

International Women’s Day – 8th March

March 8 sees the annual International Women’s Day campaign kick-off for the year ahead, with this year’s theme focusing around #PressforProgress.

Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress. A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

International Women’s Day is not country, group or organisation specific. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. So together, let’s all be tenacious in accelerating gender parity. Collectively, let’s all Press for Progress.

To find out more visit: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

 

95% of staff at Walsall FC CP have progressed through an Apprenticeship

For over 25 years Walsall FC Community Programme has run a very successful Apprenticeship Programme, in its varying guises since 1989.

95% of staff, including the current Community Director Adam Davy who joined the Club in 1994, have progressed through an Apprenticeship programme. Walsall FC Community Programme currently employ 8 Full time Coaches and have one 1st Year Apprentice and two 2nd Year Apprentices who are on an Advanced Apprenticeship.

Apprentices complete the most up to date industry standard qualifications and staff deliver Health, Education, Engagement and Sport programmes through a diverse and inclusive range of activities.

In Year 1 the Apprentices complete;

  • AfPE Level 2
  • Level 2 NVQ in Activity Leadership
  • Key Skills Maths and English. (if Required)

In Year 2 the Apprentices complete;

  • AfPE Level 3

Apprentices also complete their FA Coaching Badges during their time at the Club. The experiences and qualifications gained enable Apprentices to apply for full time jobs with our Community Programme or within the Sports Industry.   Over the years we have seen many Young People who have completed the Apprenticeship programme and have gone on to progress themselves further, these include;

Harry Rogers – 3 years apprenticeship – 2 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Sports coach at a local Primary School.

James Sellman – 2 years apprenticeship – 6 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Sports coach at a local Primary School.

Simon Bailey – 2 years apprenticeship – 4 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Sports coach at a local Primary School.

Dan Johns – 2 years apprenticeship – 4 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Sports coach at a local Primary School.

Adam Haywood – 2 years apprenticeship – 3 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Sports coach at a local Primary School.

Christopher Hearsey – 2 years apprenticeship – 3 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Learning mentor and teacher qualified status.

Jamie Hawkins – 2 years apprenticeship – 10 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Community Manager at a High School.

Jamie Edwards – 2 years apprenticeship – 6 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Coaching for New York Red Bulls and running his own sports business in the State of New York USA.

James Fryer – 2 years apprenticeship – 2 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Strength and Conditioning Coach at Local Sports Centre.

James Holland – 2 years apprenticeship – Progressed to Coaching at WBA Community Trust.

John Hunter-Barret – 2 years apprenticeship – 2 year’s employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Lead Foundation Coach at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.

Katie Grainger – 2 years apprenticeship – 2 year’s employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Coaching WBA Community Trust.

Jon Letford – 3 years apprenticeship – 2 year’s employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Sports coach in local Primary Schools.

Luke Tisdale – 1 years apprenticeship – Progressed to Foundation degree at university and Lead Youth phase Coach at Coventry City.

Scott Sumner – James Sellman – 2 years apprenticeship – 4 years employment with WFCCP- Progressed to Sports coach at a local Primary School.

Community Manager for Education, Paul Larvin, said: “It’s going really well.

“Our programme has up-skilled a large number of 16 to 18-year-olds, who had no previous experience in the industry or coaching qualifications, and they’ve been employed by schools and other organisations.

“We’re really pleased with our apprenticeship programme as it helps us grow as a Department and Charity. We will be advertising for new Apprentices in the next month and look forward to seeing the next generation of Apprentices joining us”

Joe Roberts, Assistant Community Officer at Walsall FC Community Programme

Assistant Community Officer, Joe Roberts, added: “I really enjoyed my time as an Apprentice.

“I joined the Scheme in 2016 and worked hard to gain experience and pass my Qualifications. When a position within the Department became available, this year, I was eager to apply and really pleased to be given the opportunity to begin Full Time employment at Walsall FC. I am enjoying the role and I would encourage Young People to consider Apprenticeships if they enjoy practical learning and want to work in the Sports Industry.”

More details regarding Walsall FC Community Programme can be seen on www.walsallfccp.co.uk, Facebook (Walsall FC Community Programme) and Twitter (@WFCCP)

Education side face refugee team in memorable occasion

Barnsley FC’s education team faced a side made up of refugees in a what was a memorable occasion at Reds in the Community yesterday.

Jaber Abdullah created the African Tigers team in 2015 and his amazing work has seen them form two football sides with players from several different countries.

Abdullah’s team came from behind to win 3-2, with Josh Lovell scoring a fantastic volley and Tom Lambert also netting for the education side.

Both sets of players were awarded certificates and medals post-match whilst posing for plenty of pictures.

Social Inclusion Officer Hannah Phillips hailed Abdullah’s ‘brilliant’ work and said it was a great experience for the Tigers players.

She said: “I thought it was really successful. Both teams got really into it. Obviously, the refugee team won but the education lads did really well. It was nice to see them at the end all having pictures together. I thought it brought them all together.

“Jaber came with us about two years ago now. There was only him and about six mates. They started with us and had a training session every week with one of our coaches. It grew from Jaber just going out and spreading the word. He’s done brilliantly to form a team out of it.

“Getting to play at a professional football club on a fairly new pitch was great for them as well. I think they enjoyed it. You could tell at the end with all the photos and the mixing with each other, it was really good to see.

“We really want to get other clubs involved as well. Maybe we could take the Tigers team to face some Sheffield teams or just other teams in the county. It’s definitely something that we want to continue to support.”

Sudanese-born Abdullah was thankful for the support of Barnsley Football Club and Reds in the Community whilst being understandably proud of his Tigers.

He said: “Barnsley has changed. Asylum seekers love English people and English people love asylum seekers. It’s for everybody.

“In 2015 I created this team in a local park in Barnsley. It’s a very long story about how I created the team. It’s a team of all asylum seekers.

“The football club supports me. They give me shirts and anything else I want. This is the next team. The first team has gone to many different towns. The first team has gone to Manchester and London.

“The players are all from different countries. It was difficult how to play with 15 guys from different countries, different traditions, different languages and different religions. I am really proud of the team because it has been a success.”

 

Link to original piece: http://bit.ly/EducationVsAfricanTigers

Link to Facebook gallery of event: https://www.facebook.com/pg/RedsintheCommunity/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1702484969809730

 

 

EFL announces six regional Checkatrade Community Clubs of the Year

As regional winners of the Checkatrade Community Club of the Year, six of the EFL’s 72 Clubs were selected for their innovative and ground breaking work across inclusion, community engagement, education and health. The 2019 winners are listed below alongside details and videos of their showcase community projects.

Yorkshire & North East – Rotherham United

Building Stronger Communities – United impressed the judges with their response to their town’s priorities, focusing on anti-social behaviour, youth offending, health and community cohesion and integration. Rotherham’s ‘Building Stronger Communities’ project, funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), was viewed as stand out, and focused on improving the lives of individuals in the community, based around the themes of English language support and cohesion.

North West – Wigan Athletic

A key project that caught the judges’ attention, Pathway 2 Participation, is a mentoring project working with some of the most vulnerable young people in Wigan focussing on one of the top 10% of deprived neighbourhoods in the country. The project helps young people and works hand-in-hand with a range of supporting agencies including schools, youth justice agencies and mental health services to help them through the challenges they face.

Midlands – Coventry City

Turn2Us is a school holiday programme that offers families with children, who receive free school meals during term times, the chance to maintain a healthy diet throughout the year. Operating in an area of high deprivation, the Community team welcome children several days a week, providing meals, activities and workshops for their families.

London – Queens Park Rangers

Queens Park Ranger’s continued support for the individuals in their community in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster has created a stand out project, using therapeutic interventions to support primary school children directly or indirectly affected by the tragedy in 2017.

South East – Portsmouth

Portsmouth impressed the panel with their ongoing innovative work for a wide range of individuals in their Community – their youngest participant is three and their oldest 101. Their groundbreaking project, based on a restorative justice approach for young fans involved in violence at Portsmouth games, was universally applauded by the judges.

South West – Bristol City

Bristol City’s education and employability projects and outcomes impressed the judges this year. The environment created for learning and the commitment of the team to support students beyond their learning experience proved a standout to the panel. The ongoing work of their Youth Council also continues to impress and highlights the importance and potential of young people in our communities.

The six Clubs will be honoured at the House of Commons on Monday 4 March to receive their awards with EFL Interim Chair Debbie Jevans, EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey and host Hayley McQueen all confirmed to attend.

The overall winner of the 2019 Checkatrade Community Club of the Year Award will be announced at the EFL Awards on Sunday 7 April in central London.

EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: “Football Clubs play such an important part in communities up and down the country so it is essential we recognise their fantastic work. “This is the third time we have held the Parliamentary event to recognise the Checkatrade Community Club of the Year regional winners and I am once again hugely impressed by the dedication and commitment shown by our Clubs in tackling some of the most challenging issues in society.  “They play an important role in dealing with issues such as homelessness, reducing crime and improving health and education. This life-changing work can make a significant difference to some of our most vulnerable people and is testament to the power of football as a force for good.”

The six regional winners were selected by an independent judging panel including, The Times’ Chief Football Writer, Henry Winter; Clive Efford MP; Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at The PFA John Hudson; The Daily Mail’s Laura Lambert and the EFL Trust Director of Operations, Mike Evans.

EFL Footballers take on NCS Grads

Over the next 2 months, footballers from the EFL will be going toe-to-toe with NCS Graduates to take on the YES/NO game and find out more about NCS.

NCS (National Citizen Service) is a flagship government initiative that has provided 400,000 young people aged 16-17 the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities, make long-lasting friendships and develop vital skills that will support them later in life.

The first footballer in the firing line is Rotherham United defender Ben Purrington who met Casey Holmes, a current member of EFL Trust’s Regional Youth board, and NCS Graduate from Rotherham.

Ben said: “It’s been a pleasure to meet Casey and learn more about NCS and her experience. The opportunities that NCS and Rotherham United offer are great for young people and I urge more to get involved.”

Talking about the YES/NO game, Ben continued: “It’s a lot harder than you think, but it was great fun and I did okay!”

The EFL Trust have been delivering the NCS programme since its pilot year in 2011 and now have a network of over 40,000 graduates. Using the power of football, EFL Trust are in a unique position to publicise the work that NCS are doing during the programme and after. Last year, the social media campaign #NCSMatchDay reached over three million people.

On 15th March, NCS Graduate and now professional footballer Louis Jones at Doncaster Rovers will take on fellow NCS Graduate Holly Dennis. To keep up to date, follow #SayYestoNCS.

To get £15* off NCS this Summer, click here.