Not being inspired by school for six years is really scary

Clare Martin
Clare Martin
HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth            Picture: PA

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POMPEY in the Community is a charity affiliated to Portsmouth Football Club and it has four main areas: sports and coaching, education, inclusion, and health.

We use the brand of Pompey to engage and inspire people.

We work out of the Pompey Study Centre next to Fratton Park, but our inclusion programme is run from Bransbury Park in Eastney.

Our programmes are open to all, and each week we coach between 6,000 and 8,000 youngsters, whether it’s PE lessons, lunchtime groups, or after-school clubs.

Then we’ve got our education programme, which absorbed what the Pompey Study Centre – when we were funded by the local authority – used to do. Pompey in the Community, the charity, funds it now.

The education programme is for anyone struggling with English and maths, and all the resources we use are ‘Pompeyfied’ and we work with Southern Water, and Affinion International on programmes.

I had one mum write to me to tell me her son had come home after one of our sessions and it was the first time since he was in reception class that he’d been enthusiastic about learning.

He’s now in Year 6, so that’s six years without being inspired or enjoying school. That’s shocking really.

We’ve been through quite a lot over the past few years, with the football club changing ownership, but we’ve come through it stronger as a team.

There isn’t one person on the team who doesn’t want the very best for Pompey in the Community, and that’s why we’re entering the Beyond Sport Team of the Year award. See beyondsport.org/the-awards/entries/view.php?Id=2397