As a Charity based in North London, it was fantastic to have the leader of the Labour Party down to see what we were up to during our summer Academy Camps back in August, and to speak with some of our young academy members.
Kier Starmer is football obsessed: a life-long Arsenal fan still playing five-aside with his friends every Sunday. Whilst he may *just* miss out on getting into the Bloomsbury Academy, though there is no doubting his left-footed prowess, his active participation in the sport is emphatic of football’s impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. Exactly why it’s one of the four pillars of our organisation and is why, amongst many things, it was so great to spend some time with Kier at our Academy Summer camp at Acland Burghley School.
For a few years now Bloomsbury Football has run holiday camps where we deliver day-long football sessions for the duration of school holidays, throughout the year, for children aged 3-16. Our camps take place at a number of schools and community facilities in North and Central London.
That’s not the only way we’re involved with schools. We also run football-based sports provision at many schools in the area. Our use of schools and their facilities as the training grounds for one-off and recurring sessions is why they’re one of, if not the most, important connectors in our relationship with our communities, and a crucial facilitator for the depth of our immersion within those communities. The locality, trust and safety of schools are characteristics we’ve been able to attribute to ourselves as an organisation as we’ve grown ever larger. At the heart of it all, we’re a community based club.
That’s exactly what we were able to explain to Kier at the session, but it also triggered another conversation regarding the lack of accessible facilities in London for Grassroots clubs. It’s a barrier to participation for many young Londoners, and one that we’re continuousy challenging.
It was a pleasure to explain to Kier the incredible work our Bloomsbury coaches are doing.
Thanks Keir and hope to have you down again very soon.