Sport students pitch in to organise football tournament at Charlton Athletic stadium

SPORT students from the Thurrock Campus of South Essex College recently travelled to The Valley, home of Charlton Athletic FC, to arrange a football tournament for a mental health football league as part of their enrichment studies.

The annual event saw 11 Level 3 Diploma in Sport (Development, Coaching & Fitness) students help run the tournament for the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust; being responsible for event managing, co-ordinating the tournament, refereeing, team liaison and score running.

Sport student Bradley Webb, 17, from Tilbury said of the day: “It was such a great experience – I got to referee games, make sure the teams and ready and just generally make sure the event ran smoothly. It was a bit daunting at first because the stadium was so huge but things went well so I enjoyed it.”

The Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, based in south east London, organise the activity day every year at The Valley as part of their Health Festival which also hosts market stalls, free health checks, workshops on poetry and free Indian head massages.

The first year student enjoyed the experience so much he is now considering a career in event management. Bradley continued: “I’d never really thought about going into event organising but after this experience it’s definitely something I’d consider once I’ve finished my course. The highlight for me was watching everyone else have such a good time.”

Neil Coates, 14-19 Development Manager at South Essex College, said: “Bringing youngsters to a stadium like this is great because you get to see the looks on their faces when they run out onto the pitch. Oxleas provides mental health and learning disability services to the local London boroughs. The fact that our Sport students have been asked to organise such a prestigious event is something to be proud of.”

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