A team made up of St Mary’s University, Twickenham staff and students studying on the Chelsea FC Foundation Football Coaching and Development degree were invited into Feltham Young offenders Institute to play an 11-a-side match with some of the prisoners on the ‘Breaking the Cycle’ programme.
The programme run by Chelsea FC Foundation works with 15-18-year-old prisoners and aims to prevent re-offending post-release. The prisoners attend weekly football sessions, alongside vocational qualifications and employability workshops.
The Chelsea FC Foundation staff work closely with the prisoner’s caseworkers, youth offending officers and families to address how best to help with young person once released.
The collaboration between St Mary’s and Chelsea FC Foundation gives the University an opportunity to experience some of the fantastic work that the Foundation does with the local community.
Everyone enjoyed the day and were given a real insight into the programme and prison life. To be able to see how the staff work with the prisoners was invaluable.
All of the St Mary’s students were able to speak to the prisoners whilst playing and bonding over a love for a football. Sport is a powerful tool to bring people together and everyone felt this happened on the day.
A mutual respect on the pitch was very apparent from start to finish. The Breaking the Cycle team beat the St Mary’s University team 9 – 6 and showed class with doing so.
BSc Chelsea FC Foundation Football Coaching & Development student