More and more we are seeing global soccer clubs doing more than just playing friendlies in the US, but getting involved with local teams and communities. Today it was announced that the Chelsea FC Foundation and FC Harlem have announced a partnership that will help develop education and soccer training for children. The two clubs have worked together in the past, and this latest collaboration sounds like a pretty cool coming together of clubs.
The Chelsea Football Club Foundation and FC Harlem today announced a partnership to develop community initiatives for young people in the New York neighbourhood.
The Young L.I.O.N.S – Leaders In Our Neighborhoods – initiative will develop exciting opportunities for young people, providing positive activities and developing social and leadership skills.
The two organizations have collaborated in the past during Chelsea’s visits to New York during the summer of 2012 and the spring of 2013, and Foundation and FC Harlem coaches have been exchanging ideas and developing the program throughout this time.
The partnership is an extension of Chelsea’s “Here to Play, Here to Stay” initiative and its dedication to building education and soccer training platforms for children around the world. The Chelsea FC Academy U21 squad is joining FC Harlem for several events in the neighborhood this week.
Activities include a visit to the world famous Apollo Theatre, a meal at Red Rooster to meet celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson and a training session at FC Harlem’s home field to officially launch the community partnership.
“We’re delighted to partner with FC Harlem, one of the leading community clubs in the United States,” said Chelsea FC Chief Executive Ron Gourlay. “The partnership highlights the importance of football in developing individuals and their communities, which is something we are passionately committed to. Both Chelsea and FC Harlem share a belief that we can use sport to make a real difference. Our Academy squad’s visit to New York created an ideal opportunity to announce our new partnership.”
Founded in 1990 as Harlem Youth Soccer Association (HYSA), the FC Harlem program offers children a safe place to play, right in the heart of Harlem. More than 1,000 children participate annually in after-school soccer programs, beginner clinics and competitive travel teams.
“We look forward to this new partnership with the Chelsea FC Foundation,” said FC Harlem Executive Director Irv Smalls. “Harlem is historically one of the most recognized and culturally significant inner city neighborhoods in the world. Chelsea FC is one of the top football clubs in the world, however it is their commitment off the pitch in communities like Harlem and our shared belief that soccer can be used to strengthen communities and develop leaders that has brought us together for this groundbreaking partnership.”
The Foundation is an integral part of Chelsea’s vision of excellence on the field mirrored by ground-breaking work in our communities. The Foundation believe the power of football can bring about positive changes in people’s lives and their communities, address inequalities in society and boost health and fitness.
As well as offering outstanding football development programs, the Chelsea Foundation works on a broad range of initiatives focusing on employment, education, social inclusion, crime reduction and tackling youth offending.