Back in November 2015 the Crystal Palace FC Foundation teamed up with the Prince’s Trust to promote football championing change. Both Frazier Campbell And John Salako joined the Foundation and Trust to celebrate the role of football in changing lives
Twenty young people who had recently been a part of the Prince’s Trust Football Initiative, delivered by the Crystal Palace FC Foundation, were greeted by Eagles legends, both past and present, at a celebratory event held at Selhurst Park.
The event marked the 18th anniversary of the Prince’s Trust Football Initiative, which has successfully supported over 25,000 young people since its inception in 1997.
With the ongoing support of the Premier League and the Professional Footballers’ Association, the Football Initiative works with over 40 Premier League and Football League Clubs helping young people develop their confidence, motivation and team working skills.
Current first team forward, Fraizer Campbell and ex-player and club legend/first team coach, John Salako, were part of a panel that spoke to the audience on the theme of ‘what football has taught me’. Prince’s Trust alumni and now Crystal Palace FC Foundation coach, Emmanuel Nwanze, was also on hand to give a personal account of his journey from a project participant to a fully qualified coach.
The Crystal Palace FC Foundation are entering the fourth year of delivery on this project and have provided hundreds of youngsters with qualifications in coaching, first aid and safeguarding with the intention of widening opportunities in education, training or the workplace.
Fraizer Campbell, Crystal Palace FC first team and Prince’s Trust Ambassador, said: “There have been many tough points throughout my development as a footballer and there is a certain element of ‘unknown’ when you pursue a career in sport. I want to give inspiration to these youngsters, who may have grown up in difficult circumstances, to meet any challenge with courage and determination. The Crystal Palace FC Foundation do fantastic work in our surrounding community and partnered with The Prince’s Trust, provide a great support network for youngsters to realise their potential through sport.”
Emmanuel Nwanze, Prince’s Trust graduate and Crystal Palace FC Coach, said: “The coaches and mentors I have worked with at the Crystal Palace FC Foundation have given me the confidence to pursue something I didn’t know I was good at, or even had an interest in. My journey is perfectly summed up in the phrase ‘dare to dream’ and I hope that my story will provide the inspiration for other young people to follow in my footsteps.”
Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive, said: “The Premier League and The Prince’s Trust have championed the power of sport to change lives over the past 18 years. It’s amazing to think that, through our Football Initiative, 25,000 young people have discovered how sport can boost confidence, provide motivation and deliver the essential team-working skills needed in the world of work.”
Gordon Taylor OBE, Chief Executive of the PFA, said: “Today’s event is a chance for young people to meet players but it’s something that inspires both parties. For the young people it’s a chance to find out how their heroes coped with difficulties, and came through. And for the players, it’s a chance to find out more about the challenges facing today’s youngsters and how football can help them overcome obstacles.”