The event saw all 72 EFL clubs come together to highlight and showcase their community work
Wigan Athletic enjoyed a successful EFL Day of Action as pupils in year six at St Peter’s Hindley Primary School were given an exclusive tour of the club’s training centre before first team players Matt Gilks and Craig Morgan took part in a disability football session at St John Rigby College.
Thousands of people participated in football-led community programmes as part of the celebration, which saw all 72 EFL clubs come together to highlight and showcase this work.
St Peter’s Hindley, winners of the local heat of the EFL Kids Cup, were shown around the club’s Euxton based training centre, with two lucky pupils given signed boots by midfielder Max Power as they met the first team squad and management.
Leanne Crompton, Year 6 teacher at St Peter’s Hindley, said: “The visit to the training ground was amazing and we can’t thank Wigan Athletic enough for accommodating us. The children were so deserving of it after representing the school brilliantly in the EFL Kids Cup.
She added: “Max’s generosity and act of kindness was just incredible and the pupils were gobsmacked when he gave them his boots. He really made their day.”
Goalkeeper Matt Gilks and defender Craig Morgan later attended an Every Player Counts session at St John Rigby College, a programme that sees coaches from the Community Trust visit schools in Wigan on a weekly basis to provide free football and sports coaching to disabled young people.
Matt, said: “I loved it. It was great to come out into the community with Craig to have a game of football with the students here, and seeing the smiles on their faces when we arrived made it all worthwhile for us both really, it was rewarding.
He added: “The EFL Day of Action is a fantastic idea and the fact that all 72 clubs are involved in it makes it even better. Football clubs do a lot in the community anyway, but being able to raise even more awareness for it on day’s such as today can only be a good thing. It’s a really important event and thankfully every club has been behind it.”
Funded by the Wembley National Stadium Trust and administered by the EFL Trust, the Community Trust have worked with over 220 young people in seven schools and colleges over the past academic year, with 30 of those transitioning into evening provision at Wigan Youth Zone and four going on to do qualifications and volunteering with the Trust.
Peter McGhee, Principal at St John Rigby College, said: “What you’ve seen from the group of students who took part in the EFL Day of Action is that football can be a really fabulous way for young people to express themselves and build confidence.
He added: “The sessions with Wigan Athletic Community Trust each week really gives our students an opportunity within their group to experience so many great things, so for that to be helped even further through the EFL Day of Action is something I would very much hope to continue and we’d certainly benefit from getting our students involved in it again in the future.”
For more information about the Every Player Counts scheme, please contact Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Disability Football Officer Joe Pym on 01942 318090 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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