Three Sports and Exercise Science students received the chance to experience a new sports programme at Crystal Palace Football Club last week.
The joint initiative, created by Crystal Palace Football Club Foundation and London South East Colleges, was launched in January and aims to prepare talented young people for exciting careers in the sports industry.
Teddy, Rohan and Will visited Palace’s training ground in Beckenham to watch the first team prepare for their big match against Chelsea at the weekend. The three visitors must have acted as a good omen for the exuberant Eagles; they went on to register an emphatic away win against the Premiership leaders.
During the day, they met and spoke to team manager Sam Allardyce and captain, Jason Puncheon. Lifelong Palace fan, Teddy said: “This was a dream come true for me. When we got to the training ground, we saw a collection of supercars that left us all in awe. Inside the ground, the pitch was perfect - almost like a snooker table. The players were all there and I spent a few minutes watching and pointing out each one of them. The amount of fitness these guys need to perform at this level is unbelievable, and the style and precision of every pass was just amazing to watch.
“After the training session had finished, we were approached by ‘Big Sam’, he came over and introduced himself and his captain, Jason Puncheon. I couldn’t believe I was there shaking hands with these guys. It was surreal. They talked to us for a while , telling us more about their training regimes, the preparations on match days and gave us all a very good insight into what is expected of every player in the team. It was fascinating.”
Head of Sport and Public Services at the College, Lee Cooper said: “This is the beginning of what we hope will be a long and successful partnership with the Crystal Palace Football Foundation. It is a very exciting opportunity to expand our curriculum as well as our role in the community. Being able to offer our students the opportunity to mingle with such high-profile sports personalities as these is something I’m very proud of. These are experiences that our students may never have had access to without the brilliant relations this College is making locally and nationally.”
The first of our Crystal Palace Foundation Academy Trials will take place on Tuesday 11 April at Bishops Justus School: Magpie Hill Lane, Bromley BR2 8HZ.