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How AFC Bournemouth helped change a schoolboy's path

24 Nov 2022

The Premier League Inspires programme has transformed one student's attitude to school

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The Premier League Inspires programme has been running since 2019, creating life-changing opportunities for young people who have been identified by their schools as needing extra support to engage with activities.

This week we are taking a look at how the programme has had an impact on young people across the country.

AFC Bournemouth

For Ajay, attending school was a chore rather than something he enjoyed.

The Year 9 boy's disengagement from school life led to disruptive behaviour, detentions and him not reaching his potential in the classroom.

That all started to change two years ago when he started working with AFC Bournemouth Community Trust and the PL Inspires programme.

"He previously was a bit nervous about school and would come to school thinking it's going to be a tough day," says Dan Johnson, Pupil Premium Champion and PE Teacher at The Blandford School in Dorset.

"Now he comes in, he's happy. We've seen improvements in his behaviour in lessons, not just the lessons with AFC Bournemouth, but all around the school. There are improvements in his engagement and attitude to learning."

AFC Bournemouth green team

By building a relationship with Ajay during weekly sessions, AFC Bournemouth Community Trust has developed his teamwork, resilience, boosted his attendance and more importantly, his love of school.

Ajay was also part of a team of Premier League Inspires participants on a sustainability project, helping a bottle-swap initiative and with a clean-up of the Vitality Stadium on a matchday.

"We'd really like him to have the aspiration to want to go to college, or find an apprenticeship and continue his education," Johnson says. "Without the work with Premier League Inspires, this may not have happened."

Also in this series

Part 1: PL Inspires celebrates three years of changing lives
Part 2: Man Utd encouraging young people to grow into role models
Part 3: How Blackburn are helping students make the step up
Part 5: Learning from the press box: Wigan's media experience
Part 6: 'Students believe they have a future thanks to Cardiff City'

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