Archives for February 2015

CPFC Foundation 2015 Premier League Enterprise Challenge


Yesterday evening, the Crystal Palace FC Foundation kicked off our 2015 Premier League Enterprise Challenge, a national competition which gives thousands of youngsters from around the country the opportunity to generate ideas to solve a real-life business scenario.

The Challenge is an annual event, for participants aged between 13-17, and allows young people the chance to develop their enterprise skills and business understanding by exploring the different departments that formulate the running of a professional football club.

This year’s task, run in partnership with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), was set by Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore and asked participants to consider ways in which families can be encouraged to attend on a Matchday by using real business examples from their local club.

The Crystal Palace event was held in Speroni’s Lounge at Selhurst Park, and saw nine hopeful groups pitch in a Dragon’s Den style, to our panel of expert judges, which included ex-Palace midfielder and Sky Sports pundit, John Salako.

After intense deliberation the judging panel concluded that Croydon Kicks team presented the most innovative ideas, delivered eloquently and displayed great teamwork. Croydon Kicks will go on to represent Crystal Palace at the next stage of the PLEC competition where they will face teams from other Premier League clubs.

The Crystal Palace FC Foundation were particularly excited, after last years success, to begin our search to find a local school to represent Palace once more at the national finals. This year’s competition will see 24 clubs compete, but the Foundation are convinced that Croydon Kicks team can replicate the same success as last years representatives, Carshalton Girls School, who won their preliminary rounds to reach the final of the 2014 Challenge.

Guest judge and CPFC Foundation ambassador, John Salako, said: ‘this initiative is a great chance to showcase local entrepreneurial talent. It is also a great way to highlight that professional football clubs have to function above and beyond the players on the pitch and demonstrate that there are so many different occupational avenues within football. These children have been introduced to ideas, professions and career options that they never knew existed, or didn’t know they were interested in. Palace has always been a club dedicated to giving rewarding opportunities to the local community.


CPFC Foundation Academy Carshalton Boys Sport College Trials


What a fantastic turn out at the CPFC Foundation Academy trial day at Carshalton boys’ sports college last Tuesday.

The morning was based on fast-paced possession games to see what the trialists were like on the ball under pressure. There was a great deal of talent on show, all of a good-excellent standard, making it very difficult to narrow down the search. The afternoon saw the boys involved in an 11v11 game to see how they would cope in a competitive environment.

Below are identified advantages of the Academy:

  • Access to high quality coaching and daily access to a UEFA qualified coaching team
  • Branded match and training kit
  • First class coaching from Crystal Palace Foundation
  • Injury support from a physiotherapist
  • Behind the scenes look at Crystal Palace Football Club
  • Mentoring of students by football coaches
  • Additional sports coaching qualifications alongside studies
  • Opportunities for work experience and volunteering with Crystal Palace FC Foundation
  • Potential employment opportunities
  • Playing in the PLFL U19 Development league

If you are still interested in registering for the programme and for next trial day please complete a Carshalton boy’s sixth form application and a Crystal Palace Football Academy expression of interest form, which can be downloaded from the school website on

Crystal Palace FC Foundation Supports FOOTBALL V HOMOPHOBIA


February is the international month of ‘Football v Homophobia’ (FvH) and we at the Crystal Palace Foundation are supporting the initiative.

FvH is a campaign uniting fans, players, communities, grassroots teams, professional clubs and the Football Authorities in opposing homophobia and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in football.

Year round, FvH enables people to take action against prejudice and discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity in football, and to celebrate and welcome diversity in the game. This culminates in an international show of support in February to raise awareness of the issue and to showcase new and existing work. The campaign has been around since 2010 and manages to generate global attention.

In the UK there has been a massive show of support and a majority of professional clubs took action in February last year. Palace is pleased to be supporting the campaign again this season

Homophobia and LGBT discrimination has long been an issue in football. In 1990 the first professional football player in the UK to come out as gay, Justin Fashanu, had an intense struggle with his sexuality and how it was received in the game. More recently we have seen Robbie Rogers come out. Robbie retired briefly when he made the announcement about his sexuality. But now, following massive support from players and fans alike, he plays in the US for LA Galaxy. Last year former Premier League player Thomas Hitzlsperger also came out as gay. Both of these players have talked about the challenge of being gay and working as professional footballers, and the impact that anti-gay jokes and language can have on confidence and self-esteem.

More than twenty years after our first professional player came out, football is starting to show progress on the issue of homophobia in the game. However we still have some way to go.

Change always starts with education and Palace recognises its duty to lead the way on raising awareness about homophobia and LGBT discrimination within the club and its community.

Celebrating the first Learning Disabilities Football Festival


The first Crystal Palace Learning Difficulties School Football Festival took place on Thursday 12th February in the CPFC Academy Dome. Specialist Schools the Carew Academy, from Sutton, and Baston House, from Bromley, came together to play in a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere that allowed all the players the opportunity to showcase their ability on the pitch.

This great day was put on by the CPFC Foundation as part of our ongoing partnership with the London Special Olympics which aims to give every child and adult the opportunity to take part in quality sports training and competition, to improve their lives and in turn, the lives of everyone they touch.

The boys and girls played their hearts out and all players got plenty of time on the pitch to be able to enjoy the experience of playing in this rewarding environment.

Selwyn Walmsley, Head Of PE at Carew Academy, said ‘Great opportunity to witness skills, physically and socially, from players I hadn’t seen before. Fantastic day for all involved’

Mams Miah, SENCO at Baston House School, told us his thoughts, ‘considering this was Baston House’s first outing as a team they have been amazing. They have worked well as a team and showed great sportsmanship to the opposition. This event is a good introduction to working in partnership with other schools.

CPFC Foundation coach Martin Hills refereed the festival and thought it was a ‘thoroughly enjoyable day. Good quality football. Nice to see young people playing together in good spirit.’

Our Disability Officer, Michael Harrington, is busy developing our LD school sports program and this promises to be the first of many events he will be arranging for our local specialist schools. You can contact Michael at or call him on 020 8768 6052 to discuss the schools program, or any other area of our Disability Program.


Barclays Premier League Schools Cup finals


The Foundation were delighted this week to hold the final stages of our Premier League Schools Cup prelim rounds at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, as we find out which local school teams will represent CPFC at White Hart Lane.

A massive congratulations goes to Oak Lodge Primary School U11 boys and Greenshaw High School U13 girls, who will be the two teams to don a Crystal Palace shirt for the finals held at White Hart Lane.

The two teams will play in a tournament involving representatives from all 20 Barclays Premier League teams, including local London rivals Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham.

Oak Lodge boy’s team impressively won all of their games to progress and have a great chance of competing with the very best teams in the competition finals.

Our commiserations go to The Priory and Harris Crystal Palace girl’s schools as well as Smitham Primary, Whyteleafe and Westbourne Primary in the boy’s category. All pupils were a credit to their school and we hope to see them competing in the 2016 season’s Premier League cup.

Paul Mitchell, PE and School Sport Manager, Crystal Palace FC Foundation, said: ‘The whole process of finding teams to represent CPFC has been extremely rewarding. We are glad that so many children have been able to engage with Palace, and I cannot fault the enthusiasm of the teams in the final stages. There is some great talent in the local area and we will be proud to have that on display, wearing a Palace badge, at White Hart Lane in May.’

Darrick Wood School Football Academy

Darrick Wood School is pleased to announce a new partnership with Crystal Palace Football Club to run a Football Academy here from September 2015. This exciting venture means that Darrick Wood School is offering a two year educational package that combines full time education with a comprehensive football programme. Students can study their A level and BTEC courses in our successful Sixth Form whilst receiving top class training from Premier League coaches.

Football skills will be developed through regular training sessions with coaches on site using our excellent facilities such as the 3G pitch and the refurbished Fitness Suite. You will also play matches in a competitive league. The Academy is designed for students who have a desire to reach the elite level of football and obtain scholarships at professional clubs or play high level non league football.

Students will be able to apply for the Academy through Darrick Wood School and will be selected both on academic qualifications and football ability.

For more information and to register please email,

CPFC Foundation Community League Tournament

Community League Tournament Flyer Feb AW

CPFC Foundation to support Croydon’s White Ribbon campaign


Crystal Palace FC Foundation is backing Croydon’s work to change attitudes to domestic violence and sexual abuse, and reduce offences.

The White Ribbon campaign has a clear message – domestic violence and sexual abuse in Croydon should not be tolerated.

It aims to get the community (especially men and boys) to engage in condemning violence against women and girls, and promoting a change of attitude.

It also aims to increase awareness of the issue and provide services aimed at reducing incidents.

CPFC Foundation head Donald Ford said: “We are happy to support this work which will benefit our immediate and surrounding communities.

“Our plans include getting anti-domestic abuse and sexual violence messages rolled out through joint education programmes run by the council and CPFC Foundation.

“We will also publicise the campaign in match-day programmes and invite key campaign promoters to attend a game and share this work with supporters at half time.

Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council “We welcome the foundation’s support of this campaign. It adds strength to our stand that domestic abuse and sexual violence will not be tolerated in Croydon, and we will continue to work to get this message to as many people as possible.”

Crystal Palace FC help young people in Mayo and Belfast


Crystal Palace FC, Ballina Town FC and Active Communities Network join together to help young people in Mayo And Belfast through sport.

  • Three organisations announce three-year partnership to provide positive activities and promote healthy lifestyles for young people
  • Young people of County Mayo and Belfast set to benefit with partnership commencing with youth participant programme from 16th-20th February
  • Includes young football coaches from Belfast undertaking week-long work placement with Crystal Palace FC Foundation at Ballina Town FC and in Belfast
  • Former Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Manchester City and Republic of Ireland player Eddie McGoldrick confirmed as ambassador for programme
  • Partnership continues work of Crystal Palace FC Foundation and charity Active Communities Network in Ireland following visit of first team squad to Waterford last season
  • Crystal Palace FC Foundation have worked in partnership alongside Active Communities Network with young people in Belfast and in London

Ballina/London – Tuesday 10 February 2015: Young people of County Mayo and Belfast are set to benefit from Premier League-standard football coaching and sports programming for the next three years as sport for development charity Active Communities Network, Premier League side Crystal Palace FC and their Foundation and Irish football team Ballina Town FC kick off a new partnership with a week-long launch programme, starting on Monday 16th February.

All three likeminded organisations share a common belief of social inclusion through sport by providing pathways to participation through training and upskilling coaches, working with young people of all abilities and developing and supporting coaches to grow the game.

The first half of the week will see the programme, which includes small-sided games and training, delivered at Belleek Park, the home of Ballina Town FC.

Pupils from two local schools – Culleens National School and Scoil Phadraig National School – will be put through their paces by elite coaches from the Crystal Palace FC Foundation including three young coaches from Active Communities Network Belfast who are undertaking a week-long placement and mentoring programme with the Premier League club.

The second half of the week will see the Belfast coaches continuing their development with the Crystal Palace FC Foundation in Belfast as they work with local community groups.

Former Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Manchester City and Republic of Ireland player Eddie McGoldrick, now U12 Assistant Coach at Crystal Palace FC, is the official ambassador for the programme which will also see the Crystal Palace FC Foundation coaches, including Gary Mulcahey (Director – Community Sports Development) attend the Ballina Town FC Awards Night.

The week marks the beginning of the long-term partnership that will also see youth tournaments and skill exchanges between partners in the UK and Ireland through Active Communities Network – a charity based in Belfast, London, Manchester and South Africa – alongside the Crystal Palace FC Foundation and Ballina Town FC.

The roots of the partnership started in August 2013 when Active Communities Network and the Crystal Palace FC Foundation used the occasion of the pre-season friendly match featuring Crystal Palace FC against League of Ireland side Waterford United FC to run football coach education sessions and delivery in tandem with two separate groups of 14-17 year old boys and girls visiting the home of Crystal Palace – Selhurst Park – to watch Premier League games with both groups taking part in VIP tours of the ground and presented on the pitch at half-time.

Gary Stannett, CEO, Active Communities Network said: “This programme brings together like-minded organisations working in the community from England, Northern Ireland and Ireland to share experiences and deliver quality activities for young people.

“Active Communities Network has long been promoting ties between England and Northern Ireland using sport for development, and it is great to be able to expand those partnerships into Mayo.”

David Groves, Chair of Trustees, Crystal Palace FC Foundation said: “The Crystal Palace FC Foundation recognise that Crystal Palace FC has a following far beyond its origins in south London with many fans based in Ireland and Northern Ireland and we want to embrace this diversity of support to facilitate opportunities for young people and grassroots clubs

“This new programme in Ballina and Belfast is part of a long-term commitment to these areas and forms part of our constant striving towards creating strong partnerships that transcend our national presence and widen opportunities throughout the world.

“As a deep-rooted community club we welcome the opportunity to give young people anywhere a chance to experience the ‘Palace Way’ and share this message with the worldwide community.”

Colm Hendry, Chairman, Ballina Town FC said: “Ballina Town FC prides itself on having deep roots in the community and as part of this we seek to engage actively with the people we come in contact with and provide them with a quality service.

“In forming this partnership with Crystal Palace FC and their Foundation we believe that we are very much fulfilling this brief and we look forward to providing local youth with quality coaching which Crystal Palace FC, as a forward-thinking Premier League club, represents.

“During these first days of our partnership we look forward to welcoming representatives from Crystal Palace FC and Active Communities Network alongside young people from Belfast and forging lasting friendships while leaving a lasting positive impact locally.”

The links between Palace and Ireland can be traced a long way back in history and in recent years many Palace players have gone on to represent the national sides including Iain Dowie, Ray Houghton, Steve Staunton and Clinton Morrison alongside current players Patrick McCarthy and Damien Delaney.

For more information about Active Communities Network please email, visit the website at, Tweet @ActiveCN, or call 020 7407 8177.

First Freesport Crystal Palace Powerchair Football sessions take place at the Waddon Leisure Centre


The first Freesport Crystal Palace Powerchair Football sessions have taken place at the Waddon Leisure Centre. These great sessions give wheelchair users, who would not otherwise be able to, the opportunity to benefit from the unique physical and social opportunities that football can offer. 

Power chair football is a 4 v 4 indoor game with two goals, played with a larger size 9 football and is under the guidance of The Wheelchair Football Association (WFA), which was formed in 2005 to govern the sport of Powerchair Football in England. It is a fast-moving disability football game which has been compared as a wheelchair football equivalent to the creativity-driven futsal.

We come together at the Fusion Waddon Leisure Centre on Wednesday’s at 5.30pm for our weekly training sessions. Powerchair football is the only football where both males and females of all ages can play together. We have ages ranging from 11 to 45 at these fun sessions which are coached by Crystal Palace FC Foundation coaches and supported by the WFA. The content of the sessions include chair management (starting/stopping, maneuverability, increase/decrease speed, space awareness), ball mastery, rules of the game, match play, technical & tactical awareness.

We hope to establish CPFC Powerchair team and are aim is to enter the WFA’s regional league structure for season 2015/16.

The photos show the lads and lasses who have been with us so far. So if you are interested, or you know someone who you think would benefit from this great opportunity, then please contact Michael Harrington at the CPFC Foundation who will be able to help make a budding footballers dreams come true.

For more information email or call 020 8768 6047