A trio of Wigan Athletic apprentices attended a local community session at Douglas Valley Nursery to help relaunch the ‘Kids on the Move’ project, which is designed to support youngsters’ agility, balance and coordination.
Current LFE apprentices Owen Mooney, Adam Brooks and Arthur Lomax surprised the pre-school children on Tuesday morning, which coincided with the announcement of a further two years of funding from Wigan Council.
Wigan’s Head of Education and Welfare, Mike Hurn, told LFE: “We’ve always placed a huge emphasis on areas such as personal development, life-skills, and prioritising the person alongside the player, so linking in with our Community Trust and providing our young players (U18s and U23s) with opportunities to engage with and support their activities is key to ensuring we deliver these.
“Our Community Trust make an outstanding contribution through the work they do and have such a positive impact on so many lives. It is a pleasure to support them in any way we can. It is also important that our young players understand the town and community they represent particularly when they have aspirations to progress their careers further.
“The experience of being part of a player appearance also helps them with their education, particularly their SEP apprenticeship, where they are supported with Individual Action Plans in areas such as their communication skills, social skills, confidence, and professionalism standards, while some will be taken out their comfort zone. All of which develop some key traits for their profession as well as their development as people.“
Following the session, 17-year-old Lomax said he was pleased to have had a positive impact and expressed the importance for youngsters to be involved on the programme.
He told the club website: “For me it’s very important for kids that age as they are learning different things and they’re at that age where they’re going from nursery to primary school which is a big thing for them.
“The club has a massive connection with the community and for us coming in and wearing the badge is great, especially representing Wigan and coming in and making a change to a kid’s young life and helping them learn new things.”
Launched in 2018, following a successful pilot scheme, the project is aimed at helping pre-school children prepare for their transition to primary school with a focus on developing personal, social and motion skills and their communication and language.
Each player will be able to use community activities, such as this, as evidence for their SEP portfolio, while they will also talk about the experience during a professional interview towards the end of the qualification.
Image Credit: Jess Hornby