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Brentford & Fearless: Building Fearless pathways

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Thursday 27th March 2014

“It felt like we were actually reporters. It was fun but it could be quite hard as you have to remember all the facts and stats.”

These are the words of nine-year old Dallas getting to grips with the demands of being a journalist during a Fearless Journalism Workshop.

After receiving funding from the Danny Fullbrook Fearless Foundation, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust – voted 2014 Community Club of the Year – have been running free workshops for schools at Griffin Park’s Learning Zone.

Since their partnership was announced in November 2012, the Fearless Foundation and the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust have been working together to provide new opportunities for young people – whether in the classroom or on the football field.

“My favourite part was walking around the stadium and meeting new people. I have never been to a stadium. All schools should do this because it is really fun,” said Logan, from Year 5 at Hobbayne School in Hanwell.

The passion these workshops generate is not in doubt – especially if you are on the receiving end of the children’s whoops and screams upon seeing the empty stadium lie out before them.

The workshop includes a backstage tour of Brentford’s Griffin Park, an introduction to the principles of journalism and the pièce de résistance – a special press conference with a professional football player. Brentford midfielder Nico Yennaris and defender James Tarkowski are two first team players who have already been quizzed by aspiring young journos, and survived.

A high profile sports journalist – who worked for the Sunday Mirror and Daily Star – Danny Fullbrook would be delighted that funding generated in his name is being used to educate young people about his profession.

Hobbayne Learning Support Assistant Ms Keeley said, “These workshops are great at showing children what a career in journalism might be like. This is the sort of thing we could never recreate in school.”

“The children learnt where to sit in the stand, how to act in a press conference and the need to research your subject. The workshop prepared them well for the role and their eyes lit up when they were in the press box.”

Danny was a ‘Frank and Fearless’ journalist, but one who was respectful and fair – something these workshops are careful to emphasise.

“I really liked the press conference.  I liked asking the questions because I had never done it before and it was really fun to do something new,” said Logan.

Coaching opportunities

Journalism workshops are one of many Fearless projects run by Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. Fearless funding has also allowed the Trust to expand its sports programme in schools. Ten weeks of free multi-sports sessions and FA Respect workshops have been delivered to Hobbayne – the school Danny’s son Edward attended.

These sessions allowed 360 children from Year 1-6 to take part in extra sport sessions under the professional guidance of the Community Sports Trust coaches. Another important facet of these sessions is the opportunity it gives Fearless Coaches.

Luke Skelhorn, General Manager at Brentford FC CST said, “Fearless funding has enabled us to offer a pathway for young coaches from disadvantaged backgrounds. The extra sessions allow them to be mentored by experienced coaching staff into delivering workshops and sports lessons promoting the FA Respect agenda.”

This is a step onto the career ladder these coaches might not have achieved so quickly without Fearless support.

The next goal for the Trust is to ensure Fearless sport sessions reach over 1,000 children by the end of 2015.

Starting in the summer term, two new schools will receive free multi-sports sessions and Respect workshops and this will again provide work and much-needed experience for Fearless Coaches.

The Fearless Foundation and Brentford FC CST are continually looking for new, innovative ways to develop young coaches, deliver more sport sessions and educate and inspire future generations.

When the kayaking season gets underway, Fearless funding will take to the water and hopefully encourage more youngsters to kayak and paddleboard at the Brentford Boating Arch and Brentford Lock.

(Could another Olympic hero be on their way?)

The Danny Fullbrook Fearless Foundation would like to thank everyone who attended and supported the 2013 Fearless Foundation Ball –  without your backing none of this would have been possible.

If you want to support the Danny Fullbrook Fearless Foundation, you can donate here: 

 

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