Printed Date: 23/04/2018

London football stars get behind Pioneers Day 2015

London football stars get behind Pioneers Day 2015

• Crystal Palace winger, Yannick Bolasie, and Charlton Athletic defender, Joe Gomez, will attend London FA initiative on Monday 20th April
• Event in partnership with Metropolitan Police and the Trident Community Engagement team

On Monday 20th April at the Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the London FA has invited 130 students aged 14-19 from across the capital to take part in Pioneers Day 2015.

Professional footballers Yannick Bolasie, Crystal Palace and DR Congo, and Joe Gomes, Charlton Athletic and England U20, will attend Pioneers Day to support the initiative.

The event will be run in partnership with the Metropolitan Police to not only promote different career opportunities within the Sports Industry but also delivering important messages around gang culture and keeping safe.

Trident’s Lou Walker said: "The Metropolitan Police and the Trident Community Engagement Team are pleased to work in partnership with the London FA for this year’s Pioneers Day event.  We both aim to empower young people with information about the dangers of gang crime whilst encouraging them to be a positive role model.  Football is a vital tool in creating positivity and building relationships, not only to the individuals involved but also the wider community."

The event aims to give teenagers a taste of the various careers in football / sport beyond becoming a player. The students will take part in workshops throughout the day, including FA Coaching lead by FA National Staff, Blind Football, Radio production, and TV.

Darren Smith from The London Football Association said: “Unemployment for young people is a real issue, and it's important that young people know about the range of career possibilities. Football and sport can be about a lot more than just kicking a ball. We're showing off a variety of options associated with the sport. The aim of this event is to raise aspirations and inspire them to create a positive life for themselves.”

The London FA’s Pioneers Day will show students that there are other avenues for them to purse if playing football does not work out, and they can play a key role in football’s future - whether its as volunteers in the community, coaches at grassroots club, administrators at clubs, future TV presenters or pundits, cameramen etc. We hope they will just go back into their community and just be positive role models.

The event last year was a real eye-opener for the 150 young people from across London who got involved. One student that has benefited from Pioneers Day was 17-year-old Ella Stratham from John Roan School in Greenwich commented, "I really enjoyed the editing, filming and interviewing stuff. It's a lot harder than it looks but really good fun, I hadn't thought about working in the sports media, but it is now one of the options I'll be considering." Since then, Ella has joined the FA Football Futures programme, become Chair of the London FA Young leaders council and recently winning an FA National award for Promoting the Game.

See Pioneers day in action -
For more information please contact Darren Smith at the London FA on
0207 751 2423 / 07944 045 686 or