Charlton Athletic’s Sean Clare and Beth Roe visit Apprentice Alfie Maloney at a local school for EFL Week of Action

Sean Clare, Beth Roe and Alfie Maloney with a group of Year 4 students

On Tuesday 17 January, Charlton Athletic’s Sean Clare and Beth Roe joined Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) Apprentice Alfie Maloney as he led an education session for students at Ravensworth Primary School in Mottingham as part of the EFL Week of Action.

The Week of Action is an EFL-wide, annual celebration of the work of Clubs and their Club Community Organisations in their respective areas.

The players visited Alfie in action as he ran a session with two groups of Year 4 pupils around reading and the importance of setting goals and having dreams. This was followed by an assembly Alfie led as Sean and Beth took questions from all of Year 4 and Year 6.

Reflecting on the visit, Sean Clare said:

“We’ve been meeting some of the Year 4 kids and coming in to do some work with Alfie, talking about their goals and reading and just getting to know them through a few fun games. They asked us a few questions about football and books.”

When asked about the importance of having dreams and ambitions, Sean said:

“I think dreams and ambitions drive us in life and they give us something to aim for in day-to-day life and something to strive towards. For me obviously football was always a goal for me; it was a nice dream to have to one day be in the position that I’m in today.”

Beth Roe added:

“There’s so many little kids, boys and girls, who love sport and for us to be able to give back it’s just amazing. For them to see us in here speaking and chatting, it gives them someone to look up to, especially the ones who probably don’t know anything about us but maybe they enjoy football, and they want to get involved. This just shows them that they can actually achieve their goals because we’ve been in the same situations that they have.”

Alfie has been working in Ravensworth Primary School since he joined CACT as an Apprentice in September. The players joined a regular session Alfie runs with a group of young people focused on inspiring children aged 5-11 through learning, developing important life skills and promoting an active lifestyle.

Paul Murphy, Ravensworth Primary School’s Headteacher, commented on the importance of Alfie being a role model:

“Always for the kids, young role models are instantly accessible, and the fact is that Alfie’s experience is more recent. Alfie is working in today’s world, in today’s society.

“When Alfie comes here in person, he is instantly developing that relationship with talking and listening, even down to turn taking. He’s got that experience direct from education about what it can be, but also, he knows the pitfalls.”

When asked about the importance of visits like this for the young people and Charlton Athletic as a football club, Paul said:

“This school is positioned in quite a deprived area so there are less opportunities in comparison to some other areas around Bromley particularly where we are based.

“You have lots of people here who would go to Charlton because it’s their local club, and Charlton are visible in the community, not just through player appearances like this but with the likes of Alfie working with us too.”

Alfie was recently recognised for his achievements during the CACT Awards at the House of Lords which saw him take home the Participant of the Year Award, sponsored by University of Greenwich.

Alfie joined CACT as a student of the Post 16 Football & Education Academy, and now delvers education-based sessions His journey with CACT has seen him go from a student on a further education programme to delivering education-based sessions to young people in the local community.

During his time as a student, Alfie sadly lost two of his closest friends to cancer so wanted to raise awareness with three fundraising events: doing 100 daily press ups and running 100 miles in a month; and a 12,000ft skydive. He raised over £10,000 for charity.

Speaking about his new role as an Apprentice with CACT, Alfie said:

“Being an Apprentice is really good, it’s making me work hard and I feel like I’m getting better every single day. I keep getting put on different sessions so I’m always learning, and I just love it, it’s really good.”

Alfie went on to explain the importance of player appearances in the local community:

“It’s a massive inspiration for the kids and gives them massive goals to be like a professional footballer or something else. It just gives them some sort of ambition that maybe someday, that could be me.”

To watch a video of the day, click here.

To find out more about CACT’s work in schools, click here.

To help support CACT’s work in the local community, please consider setting up a regular donation here.

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