The training ground was livelier than normal last week when a group of year 9 students from Royal Docks Community School in Newham turned up to view the players training and then had some time to question some of the staff, management and squad members.
As part of the Leyton Orient Partnership of Associated Schools Scheme (LOPASS), the training ground visit is just part of the package offered to a selection of local schools in an effort, ultimately, to attract new supporters to the club.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to see professional sportsman in a more natural setting, the conversations with players and coaches, the welcoming nature at the ground and work ethic that was on display was both educational and inspiring for all the young people involved”, said Gary Davison, PE teacher at the school.
The students arrived in time to see the first team squad put through their paces by coach Kevin Nugent, working hard in fast-tempo drills and small sided games. Then, once inside the clubhouse, they asked questions to cook Julie Bassett, analyst Matt Hunter and players including Dean Cox and Shaun Batt.
The Battman was extremely popular with the students, chatting whilst having a break in the training and then surprising one who had asked for his autograph as they were leaving.
“I can’t believe how I feel,” said student Rahul Pramanik. “I’m so excited to be here and to be speaking to professional footballers. And I can’t believe Shaun Batt gave me his signed boots. It feels like a dream!”
If you would like any information on LOPASS, the 50-50 scheme or any other community initiatives, please contact Howard Gould, Community Liaison Officer on 0208 556 5973 or email [email protected]