Since 1999 when the Playing for Success Study Support Centre first opened at Nottingham Forest FC there has been a strong link between the centre and the club’s Academy and first team squad.
The main impact has been through the Academy players whose education programme has moved and developed into a more skills focused curriculum. One of the key areas of their work has seen Apprentices mentor pupils from local schools on a regular basis to help them improve their learning skills.
From an Academy player focus this has resulted in improved communication skills, increased confidence, development of personal ICT skills through teaching others and importantly they have been able to relate this work to the ASE framework and practical work experiences.
The impact for the children has been huge allowing them to work with the players as positive role models on a regular basis and to learn about the importance of areas such as healthy eating and positive life styles. The Academy players have also passed on their own personal experiences to the children within areas such as bullying and racism.
The profile and awareness of the Centre has been considerably raised due to the involvement of both the Academy players and first team squad many of whom had been previously involved in mentoring and who understand both the ethos and purpose of the Centre.
Forest use the Centre as one of the key selling points when encouraging Academy players to sign and this partnership has enabled both parties to put together successful funding bids to improve ICT resources.
The benefit for the players has resulted in the opening of a video editing and animation suite. This suite allows the players to review tapes of their recent matches and analyse individual performances whilst the centre is able to work with the pupils to create their own movies and work in a different environment.
The Study Support Centre at Nottingham Forest is a great example of a successful partnership between the Centre, the Club and its players acting as positive role models and mentors to improve the educational attainment of young children within the Nottingham area.
LFE Blogger Tim Hopkinson spent time in the Centre last week with local young children to help promote reading. He took time out of his rest days to read to the youngsters and pass on his own personal views on being an Apprentice footballer. Read about Tim’s experiences at LFE Blog Online.