Chester FC's Community arm, The Seals Foundation, have been extremely busy working with the schools and communities of Chester, and recently the head of Personal, Social and Health Education at Blacon High School approached Chester FC to get involved with their Year 8 programme for this first term.
PSHE encourages the children to take responsibility for their own futures, and think about their treatment of others. The school approached the Club to become involved as the first term for these children would be themed New Beginnings, a perfect fit!
The night after the Trafford match, board members Mark Howell and Chris Pilsbury attended the school assembly where they spoke to the children about new beginnings, and about how they are responsible for their own outcomes. Mark spoke proudly about how our members had made their own dreams come true by building, working for and paying for their Club to be reborn. Furthermore the children were told that as supporters we could have sulked, and we could have blamed the rest of the world for our problems and our lack of a football club. Mark told them that by working together, and by listening to each other opinions and ideas, we were able to get to where we are today. The children were clearly excited by the prospect asking whether the Chester FC players would be at the club.
Our partners in delivering this programme are the school and Cheshire Fire and Rescue. The children will have lessons in how to cope under pressure, and how to make the correct decisions. This may be regarding fireworks, it may be about getting into a car with someone who has taken drink or drugs, or it may be about what to do if a pan catches fire. What it does do is arm these children with the knowledge and the self belief to make the right decision in some very difficult circumstances.
Last Thursday, 23rd September, saw the whole of year 8 at Blacon High School attend the Exacta Stadium for their weekly PHSE lesson. The Chester and District FA referees secretary Dave Powell came down and spoke to the pupils in the Blues Bar for half an hour. He explained to them the principles of the Respect campaign, and how the referees courses that they run encourage the younger referees to be confident at decision making. Dave spoke about Mike Jones, who had qualified originally under Dave, and how he had become a Premier League referee after taking a course at 14.
Following Dave's lesson, Danny Jones and his team of coaches took over 80 children out onto the Exacta pitch, in the sun, and did some basic skills training with them as a reward for their good work so far. The kids were thrilled when Chester FC midfield maestro Andy Burgess helped out, and the look of sheer enjoyment on their faces told us that this would be a day out they would never, ever forget.
The course has a couple of lessons left to run, including a talk on inclusivity from fellow board member Rich Wightman, and an assessment / prize giving lesson whereby the club and the Cheshire Fire get the chance to reward some of the children for their efforts.
The children will be tasked with several things to do over the last few weeks, and hopefully we will be able to display some of the results of this to see around the Exacta Stadium.
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