Last Friday, players from Chelsea Football Club U17s, as part of the Chelsea Foundation Programme, visited Fulham College Boys’ School to give students a talk on healthy living and the benefits of exercise.
The boys looked in awe as the scholars stood before them dressed in their official kit. The theme of the session was “Stay fit, stay healthy”.
For the theoretical part of the session, the boys were split into three teams and worked alongside the Chelsea players – gaining insight into the healthy lifestyles and food choices that they make.
The boys then had to use this knowledge and pretend they were an elite chef planning meals for a player – using the insight gained to plan the following meals:
· Before a training session
· Before a match
· Recover after a match
The players assisted the boys in talking about the different food groups, and what the body needs for fuel, energy and recovery. The students used this opportunity to ask the players different questions, such as “How often do you train?” and “You must be so happy to be a professional player - how did you get there?”.
After the theoretical workshop, the practical then began - the part of the day that the boys had all been waiting for! They went onto the pitch and played alongside the scholars, developing their knowledge further by discussing fitness and exercise.
Alex, a Year 8 student, said: “We have had such good fun. We have learnt a lot about food and I feel very lucky to be here today.”
The excitement was palpable as the boys began their warm up session with the players and then played a match!
There were shrieks of excitement as one of the boys managed to score a goal against one of the players, who we later found out was actually the goalie!
Troy, a Year 9 student, said: “Today has been great – I can’t believe we actually met the Chelsea players and then got to play football with them!”
The Chelsea Football Club Foundation programme is currently available in three London schools – with Fulham College Boys’ being one of them. Set up in January 2018, the programme is designed to develop resilience and emotional wellbeing in students.
Foundation programme mentor, Ashley Watson, works full time at Fulham College and Fulham Cross Girls’ School and uses the power of football to excite and motivate learners of all ages.
Ashley said: “The scholars launch was a fantastic day for the students. They gained insight about the diet of an elite athlete through healthy lifestyle workshops and activities. This led onto an outdoor practical activity which allowed the students to showcase their talents and build more of a rapport with the scholars. The students seemed to be inspired by young relatable athletes and they were extremely thankful for the opportunity.
“Overall the event was undeniably meaningful for the students as they received valuable information about healthy lifestyles and fitness which will positive impact their energy, concentration levels and overall lifestyle.”