Waltham Forest College has joined forces with Tottenham Hotspur FC to tackle the problem of young people at risk of drifting away from work, education or training after leaving school.
The college and the football club have set up a programme for more than 50 talented young footballers which combines education with football training delivered by Spurs’ academy coaches.
Tom Vittles, the college’s curriculum manager for sport, said: “Learners are required to sign a code of conduct, and will not be allowed to train or play football unless they are up to date with their academic commitments.”
Trevor Duberry, the club’s community development officer, said: “We know that many were unlikely to stay in education, and some had already fallen out of education. We have enticed them back in and this is an opportunity for them to stay engaged.”
The students were paid a motivational visit by two young Tottenham players who have broken into the Premier League club’s first team in European matches this season. Harry Kane, 18, and Andros Townsend, 20, held a series of question and answer sessions with the students, giving advice on their nutrition and training regimes and revealed what inspired them to achieve as professional footballers.
Andros said: “This is a fantastic project for getting young people off the streets.“If there were more programmes like this the world would be a much better place to live in.”