Potters Bar pupils visit Arsenal training ground

LUCKY pupils from a primary school in Potters Bar were given a tour of Arsenal’s training ground after finishing a course aimed at improving both their football and literacy skills.

A total of 22 youngsters from Oakmere Primary School, in Chace Avenue, visited the state-of-the-art facility in Bell Lane, London Colney, after completing the Double Club programme.

The programme – a partner-ship between the Premier League giants and Hertsmere Borough Council – saw pupils attend the club once a week after school for a 45-minute lesson on reading and writing, followed by 45 minutes of football practice with an Arsenal coach.

During Wednesday’s visit, the children took part in an indoor football tournament and got a tour of the Gunners’ training facilities, including the changing rooms, swimming pool and restaurant.

They also got to try on gloves belonging to Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and heard all about injured Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey’s ongoing recovery from a broken leg.


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They were then presented with certificates to acknowledge their efforts.

Helen Bottomley, Hertsmere Borough Council’s community sports officer, said: “The Double Club helps pupils with literacy as well as giving them an opportunity to improve their football skills with professional coaches.

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“It also helps improve their confidence and self-esteem.”

Dean Barker, PE coordinator at Oakmere Primary School, said: “All students thoroughly enjoyed the Double Club; it has been a brilliant experience.

“Getting to see behind the scenes of a professional club was really interesting.”

The next school in Potters Bar set to take part in this programme is Pope Paul Catholic Primary School in Baker Street.

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