Sunday 11 August 2013
The achievements of Arsenal in the Community students, participants and volunteers over the course of the 2012/13 season were recognised with a Celebration of Achievements awards for the first time last month.
At the event at Emirates Stadium, which was hosted by actor Tom Watt, awards were presented to students and volunteers across a range of programmes including Arsenal Double Club, Arsenal Employability Programme, BTEC Sports Programme, Freedom from Torture and Coach Education Programmes.
"We take a great deal of pride in our long-term approach to these projects"
There was a surprise in store as well for the youngsters when former Arsenal captain Tony Adams and Charlie George, who scored the winning goal for the club in the 1971 FA Cup final, handed out the accolades to the successful individuals.
Some students also shared their experiences on stage after the awards and highlighted their future ambitions. They were joined by England and Team GB hockey player, Darren Cheesman, who is a graduate of the Gunners Hockey Programme.
"We've spoken for many years about having cross-department awards that recognise all of our projects and all of the young people that have achieved throughout the year,” community manager Freddie Hudson said. "We take a great deal of pride in our long-term approach to these projects. We don't like to dip in and out of communities. If we invest in a community, we go into a long-term arrangement with them. Darren is a product of that.
"He started with us when he was at primary school, just down the road from here. He's been on a hell of a journey with us and it's great to see him come back to tell his story and show the many other participants that they can achieve and fulfill their potential.
"We're fortunate with the hockey programme that Darren has started on, as it has been sustained throughout that time. It's currently receiving funding from The Arsenal Foundation so that we can continue that work with other young people. Hopefully some of them can go on to achieve great things like Darren has."