Monday 09 September 2013
Students in the west Midlands got the chance to meet their heroes last week as the Premier League's title sponsors Barclays teamed up with West Bromwich Albion to thank the club's charity partner, The Albion Foundation, for its commitment to the local community.
"We hope that the experience will inspire them to achieve their ambitions and secure some brilliant BTEC qualifications with us"
Pupils from Brownhills High School in Deakin Avenue, Brownhills, and Aston Manor High School in Phillips Street, Birmingham, were able to meet West Brom head coach Steve Clarke and central defender Liam Ridgewell at the event last Wednesday, capturing photos with their idols and quizzing the pair on life in the Barclays Premier League.
The students, who are studying for their vocational BTEC qualifications as a part of a post-16 football academy in partnership with the Albion Foundation, also had an exclusive stadium tour around The Hawthorns.
The Albion Foundation, which was formed in 1992 and runs football projects in the boroughs of Sandwell, Birmingham, Dudley and Worcestershire, was chosen by Barclays because of its commitment to grassroots sport in the local area. The organisation helped open the WBA Community Sports Hall in partnership with Barclays Spaces for Sports and the Football Foundation in 2007.
"The students really enjoyed the opportunity to see behind-the-scenes at Albion and found it really interesting to chat to Steve and Liam about their experiences in the game," said Melvyn Wilkes, who as Player and Coach Development Officer at the Albion Foundation, heads-up all post-16 programmes at the Foundation. "They are all big football fans so it was excellent to be given the chance to learn more about life in the Barclays Premier League.
"This is a new group and we hope that the experience will inspire them to achieve their ambitions and secure some brilliant BTEC qualifications with us. Thanks again to Barclays and West Brom for arranging a great event."