Sunday 12 January 2014
As well as Chelsea's commitment to their local community, the club are also expanding their work internationally with the opening of a new state-of-the-art Blue Pitch in South Korea.
The facility, in the Songdo International Business District in Incheon, boasts two pitches for young players and three for futsal as well as floodlights for evening use and will be the home of the Chelsea FC Soccer School in Korea.
Chelsea expect 200 people per week to benefit from the Incheon Chelsea FC Soccer School (CFCSS) Blue Pitch in 2014, adding to the already extensive community work the club already carry out in the region.
"We are proud of what the club has already done for grassroots football in Asia and this is another fantastic example of our work developing sport and community programmes within the region," Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay told the club website.
"The facility will leave a legacy for years to come"
"The new facility in South Korea will be the perfect venue for Chelsea's experienced coaches to run training sessions, and for young people to train the Chelsea way. As an important part of our Here to Play Here to Stay strategy, the facility will leave a legacy for years to come."
The Blue Pitches initiative began in 2011 and now there are facilities and Soccer Schools running across Asia in Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, China, Sabah and the Philippines.
The scheme is part of the Here To Play, Here To Stay initiative, which runs alongside Chelsea’s summer tours to Asia and ensures a long-term commitment to global communities, using the power of sport to educate and inspire.
"As part of Chelsea FC’s commitment to support communities, the 'Here to Play, Here to Stay' philosophy aims to leave a tangible impact around the world,” added Gourlay.
"We want to leave a lasting legacy in the regions and countries that we tour as well as other parts of the world that we may never get the chance to visit and our Blue Pitch programmes are part of that."
The CFCSS classes in Korea will be led by local coaches who have been certified and supported by the Chelsea Foundation, with the coaching emphasis on training in the "Chelsea way".
"It means training that's focused on skills development in a safe and fun environment, based on the way Chelsea play which emphasises ball retention," said Chelsea international development manager Ian Woodroffe.
"The Chelsea way also means making training available to all, hence our insistence that Schools donate a percentage of their coaches time to corporate social responsibility or charity work so that children who can't afford to pay for training may still benefit."
There is also educational work that takes place off the pitch, with workshops focusing on exercise, nutrition and social inclusion and a promotion of respect, teamwork, fun and anti-bullying.
By the end of 2014, it is hoped that Chelsea's Soccer Schools and community schemes in Asia will reach 2,500 people per week and 130,000 over the year.
"For the Chelsea Football Club Foundation to take the time and spend it passing on football and leadership skills to these children means so much
The latest expansion of the Here To Play, Here To Stay programme takes place this month with the launch of a new Chelsea FC Soccer School in Indonesia. The first coaching sessions for children aged between 6-17 are scheduled to take place on 25 January.
"I am delighted that Chelsea FC will have a Soccer School in Indonesia to complement our nine other schools in the region and to enable children living in Indonesia to learn to play football the Chelsea way in a safe, friendly and professional environment," Chelsea FC Asia managing director Adrian New told the club's website.
Meanwhile, 20 youngsters from the Wat Uthai School in Thailand had a memorable experience last month when they took part in a football development session at the Chelsea FC Soccer School in Bangkok led by Chelsea Foundation coach David Monk, in association with the club's global charity partner Right To Play.
The children, who were selected by their teachers for their contributions to the school's Right To Play club, took part in fun drills to help them improve their technique under the guidance of Chelsea coaches.
"For these children, who come from low income and single-parent families, this was an opportunity of a lifetime," said Jacob Murray, country manager, Right To Play Thailand Foundation. "For the Chelsea Football Club Foundation to take the time and spend it passing on football and leadership skills to these children means so much."
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