More than a game

Luton recognise local school officer as Community Champion

3 Mar 2024

Former PL Kicks participant Hafizul Islam receives award for outstanding contribution to local community

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Hafizul Islam has been named as Luton Town's Community Captain in recognition of his fantastic work in the local area, specifically through the Premier League Primary Stars (PLPS) programme.

Hafizul was presented with his Community Champion award by Luton stars Thomas Kaminski and Albert Sambi Lokonga during a special assembly at Wigmore Primary School, where he delivers the PLPS programme in his role as school officer with Luton Town FC Community Trust.

“This was a massive surprise. I was speechless when my name was called," Hafizul told the club's official website.

"It was just a huge honour to receive the award, especially to have it awarded to me by Thomas and Sambi!”

Thomas, Sambi, Hafizul Luton

Hafizul first started out as a 16-year-old attending Premier League Kicks sessions, which uses football as a platform he help young people realise their potential. He was one of four PL Kicks participants who were then supported on their journey to take their coaching badges.

Luton's Kicks programme has been delivered to over 700 young people in the last year alone.

Hafizul progressed from volunteer to full-time member of staff with the Trust, the charitable arm of Luton, where his can-do attitude, leadership skills and ability to comfortably work with different age groups - he has also assisted with the Mini Hatters programme for three-to-five year olds - have shone through.

He has received the Community Champion accolade as part of the Premier League's “More than a game” campaign, which is showcasing how its wide-ranging investment into all levels of football enables people connected to clubs to have a positive impact on their local communities.

Damien Johnston, headteacher at Wigmore Primary School, has seen first-hand Hafizul's impact on the youngsters he has engaged with, both in the classroom and playground, along with his colleagues too.

“In his time with us Hafizul has developed a positive rapport with the young people at Wigmore," Johnston said. "He is supporting the learning that is happening in the classrooms and the children have responded well to this, developing an increased confidence in different curriculum areas.

Hafizul Islam Luton

"He has also been leading fun and engaging games on the playground to help the children understand the importance of good physical and social health. 

“The work he has completed in PSHE has tied in very well with our school values, doing small group work on resilience, understanding and celebrating diversity and developing positive self-esteem.”

What is Premier League Primary Stars?

Premier League Primary Stars uses the appeal of football to support children to be active and develop essential life skills. It is available to every primary school in England and Wales, with over 19,000 schools engaged with the programme.

The programme enables teachers to use resources for English, PSHE, PE and Maths, to support children to develop skills and values that are crucial to success in later life. Currently 103 professional football clubs from the National League to the Premier League run in-classroom Premier League Primary Stars sessions in local partner schools.

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