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Monday 25 November 2013

Volunteers get 'buzz' from Barclays day at Arsenal

Coaches meet Arsene Wenger and Mikel Arteta in recognition of commitment to community

  • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger fields questions from community volunteers

  • A community coach enjoys a training session at London Colney

  • The volunteers were rewarded for giving up their time to coach in north London

  • One coach described getting a 'real buzz' from meeting Arteta (left) and Wenger

  • The volunteers said they would pass on what they learnt from the day in their own sessions

It was a day out to remember for a group of community coaches as they were invited to meet Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and midfielder Mikel Arteta last Thursday as Barclays Premier League title sponsor Barclays acknowledged volunteers for their commitment to the local community.

"Rewarding dedicated volunteers for their commitment to grassroots sport is one of the reasons we launched this campaign"
David Wheldon

The group, made up of volunteers from the Islington Football Development Partnership and Arsenal in the Community, had the privilege of meeting Wenger and Arteta at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground to quiz them about life in the Barclays Premier League in an exclusive Q&A session.

The volunteers, who were chosen by Barclays in recognition of their valuable work in helping facilitate and develop grassroots football in the Islington area, also got the chance to put their boots on and take part in a special training session with Arsenal coaches.

Speaking at the event, Lloyd Agyekum, one of the invited coaches, said: "It's a real buzz coming to the Arsenal training ground, meeting the manager and having a training session. I admire Mr Wenger – he always has a plan and sticks to it.

"I'm a huge Arsenal fan so it's very exciting to see how it works and learn more about their coaching. I like to teach kids the Arsenal way of playing – the right way with a lot of passing – and today will help me pass that on."

The Islington Football Development Partnership and Arsenal in the Community both use the Barclays Spaces for Sports site at Rosemary Gardens in Islington, one of 200 community sports sites that Barclays has built with partners the Football Foundation.

"This season Barclays is saying thank you to community heroes across the UK who help make the Barclays Premier League what it is today," said David Wheldon, Managing Director of Brand, Reputation and Citizenship at Barclays. "That is why we are inviting the Islington Football Development Partnership and Arsenal in the Community coaches to this special event. Rewarding dedicated volunteers for their commitment to grassroots sport is one of the reasons we launched this campaign."

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/barclaysfootball and join the conversation to thank community heroes with #YouAreFootball.

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