Archives for April 2016

Crystal Palace FC Foundation needs you..!

Crystal Palace FC needs you…!
Are you a young person who has been involved with Crystal Palace FC Foundation either at School or on a course?

Would you like to be part of an equalities focus group at Selhurst Park?
If so please do get in touch. (must be available Tuesday 3rd May – 5pm)
Thank you.

Please contact Paul Mitchell.
Telephone: 020 8634 5414
Mobile: 07808 323 031

Junior Eagles Play Against The Pros


Junior Eagles had a taste of what it feels like to play against members of the first team, when Palace players Wilfried Zaha and Alex McCarthy joined in the action at a Junior Members training day event during the Easter holidays.

Following an impromptu Q&A where questions varied from what Zaha eats for lunch, to McCarthy’s goalkeeping tips, the group split into small sided games where the Palace first teamers were only too happy to break away from the line of questioning, and get involved in matters on the pitch.


Having grown up in the local community and come through Palace’s youth system, Zaha said the event gave him fond memories of the times he used to play, although the opportunities on offer to young people has changed dramatically since he was growing up.

“It definitely gives me flashbacks to when I was this young and it’s nice to get involved and it’s been really fun, one of the kids was chasing me around saying he was marking me! I didn’t get this chance when I was young (the opportunities they get now), and for the players to actually make time to come and meet them, it’s a lot different.”

Hosted by CPFC Foundation coaches, Junior Eagles Members enjoyed a morning of games, training drills and exercises, before the two senior players arrived having just finished their own training session, and McCarthy acknowledges the importance of connecting with young fans who become loyal supporters at an early age.

“It’s good to give something back to community and to the kids who look up to you, it’s the least you can do to put a smile on their face, and you can see it means the world to them. Seeing these kids really enjoying themselves – it’s what you want to see. When they’re growing up and come and watch you on a Saturday and then to get to meet you in person it’s special.”

The next Junior Eagles event will take place on 3rd June at Kent County Cricket Club.

Inclusion Open Day a Great Success

The Crystal Palace FC Foundation held its first Inclusion Open Day at the Monks Hill Sports Centre in South Croydon last Thursday. A fabulous day saw over 100 men and women, boys and girls, living with a wide variety of additional needs join us for a day of sporting fun.


This great day was hosted in partnership with Great Britain Special Olympics, the Croydon Local Authority’s Sports and Physical Activity Team and Learning Disability Commissioning Service, and all the guys at the Monks Hill Sports Centre.

Along with our partners we are growing our ‘Inclusive Eagles’ Disability program. This has seen us deliver a wide range of specific sports and activities to pan-disability and disability specific groups over the past 2 years, including our weekly Learning Disability football coaching sessions in Croydon and Sutton. A Learning Disability is a reduced intellectual ability, normally caused before or shortly after birth. Almost all learning disabilities are permanent and can impact a person’s life in a number of ways. A person with a learning disability will tend to need more time to learn new things. This means they may find aspects of daily life, such as carrying out basic household tasks or making friends, more difficult.


So it was fantastic to see so many of our friends who attend these various sessions come together and join us in playing football and trying out a variety of new sports such as Tennis, Basketball, Boccia and Athletics. We even had a group coming all the way from Southampton!! Croydon Mayor Patricia Hay-Justice was also on hand to offer her support to all the athletes, coaches, volunteers and support workers who worked so hard to make this a truly memorable day.

The Foundations Disability Officer Michael Harrington, whose post is funded by the Premier League and Professional Footballers Association, gave this insight into the Festival. ‘It was wonderful to see so many people join us to be part of a great day. We had over 100 people taking part in sports many of them had never had the opportunity to try before. This would not have been possible without the amazing support provided by a host of support workers, teachers, carers, families and friends. It just shows what can be done when we all pull together.’


Shantel Whyte, a support worker from the Avenue Trust added ‘I attended the Inclusion Open Day on 7 April 2016 at Monks Hill, my client really enjoyed herself and has expressed an interest in attending another event like this. We would also like to know where we could go to attend sessions such as dance and sports, for those with disabilities. Thank you very much this was a great day which appeared to be enjoyed by all.’

Barry Lloyd from the Croydon Local Authority Sports & Physical Activity Team observed ‘I think the day was a massive success and really demonstrated the demand for sport and physical activity provision, for people of all ages with disabilities and additional needs within the borough. This event is clearly quite unique with a group willing to travel so far from Southampton!’


The CPFC Foundation is aiming to create equality of opportunity for every person with a disability to participate in sport. The benefits that this brings include improved motor skills, physical fitness and functional ability and the opportunity to develop self-esteem, confidence and gain family interaction with new friends and the wider community.

For more information on Inclusion Sports, or any other aspects of our Disability program, please contact Michael on 020 8768 6047 or

Interfaith Football Tournament


Crystal Palace FC Foundation, in partnership with Surrey County FA, hosted an Interfaith Football Tournament on Tuesday 5th April as part of their work to support and raise awareness around tolerance and understanding of different faiths. The tournament was targeted at U12s and U14s with a view to engage them in a positive dialogue around faith and religion.

The tournament, held at Whyteleafe FC, was attended by 14 teams who took part in 5 aside matches and were also engaged in discussions about religion and faith whilst on the sidelines waiting for their next game. The workshop was conducted by Soye Briggs, Director of Community Development at Crystal Palace Foundation as well as equalities lead for the Foundation and Surrey County FA. He was clearly delighted with how the event went and is keen to run similar events in the future. He said,

“It is so important to have this conversation around faith and religion and to get young people understanding the intricacies surrounding these things. Once you open a dialogue you really get to understand current mindsets and how you can assist in educating. It is vital that we continue to run events of this nature.”


Keith Millen was also present and helped to present the winners with their awards. He was supported by Sara Niblock, Safeguarding Manager at CPFC and Steve O’Connell, one of the Trustees of CPFC Foundation.
The event was supported by Kick It Out and the winners of both tournaments will receive their presentation on the pitch and take part in a lap of honour during half time of Saturday’s Kick It Out match v Norwich City. At U12s level the winners were Sanchez Allstars and the U14 winners were Kingstonian YFC. Congratulations to these two teams!