2012th Arsenal Player gets a Unique Hockey Experience

Arsenal PL4S action small

Arsenal in the Community’s programme has worked hard over the past two years to engage with more and more young people and recently, the Club saw the 2012th participant being recorded into the register. In an incredible special prize, Daniel Ceccarelli from St Mary Magdalene Academy in Islington was invited to the Arsenal Training Ground with a playing partner to have a training session and small match in his sport of hockey with Johan Djourou and Ju-Young Park, coached by ex-England International and Commonwealth Games Silver medallist Helen Grant and current Guyanese National Ladies Captain Chantelle Fernandes. Daniel was then presented with a special framed signed photo to mark the occasion.  

Daniel said “I am really proud to be the 2012th Premier League 4 Sport participant. Without the programme, I wouldn’t have started Hockey and now I really want to take it a lot further and maybe play professionally one day. It was great to meet the Arsenal players and they were actually really good!”

National Manager Clubs and Facilities Alex Teasdale said "The PL4S programme is a great way for Olympic sports to be able to take their game to the community. It is great to see Arsenal and the other clubs we work with really engaging with young people. Congratulations to Daniel on being such a key hockey player within a great programme"

Since the programme started, more than 39,000 young people have been engaged, exceeding its initial target of 25,000 young people across the Olympic sports. 

Arsenal PL4S celebrations smallPL4S sees Premier League clubs acting as hubs linked to community sports clubs and facilities, which in turn are connected to local secondary schools to create satellite sports clubs. Each of the 20 clubs involved has a dedicated PL4S coordinator working locally with the sports clubs and schools to maximise opportunities for young people. This approach has helped expand the offer provided by each sport. By being demand driven and with a more informal focus, each sport has been able to appeal to a wide range of young people who might not have had the confidence, time or money to travel to sessions at football clubs.

As well as doubling in scope, PL4S has also set itself healthy new targets during the 2011/12 season. These include:

• Engage over 11,000 new participants through 343 satellite sessions

• Increase retention rates to 64%

• Massively expand sustainment rates to 43%

• Recruit up to 1,000 new PL4S volunteers

• Organise over 200 PL4S national and regional competitions

• Deliver another 850 sports leaders and sports coaching qualifications but in half the time.

Arsenal’s involvement in the PL4S programme is predominantly based in schools across Islington, Camden and Hackney and generally runs between 4.30-6.00pm on weekdays during term time. Mainly aimed at school years 7, 8 and 9, the sports clubs are open to all ages and abilities, and anyone can attend the majority of sessions, regardless of whether it takes place in their own school. After attending these school sessions, participants will have the opportunity to join an established community club in that sport.

Well done and congratulations to Daniel on become the landmark 2012th participant in the programme, we hope there is another 2012 to come over the next few years.

For more information on the Arsenal Hockey programme, contact Ross McKinley on rmckinley@arsenal.co.uk / 0207 704 4147