Jobi McAnuff and Jay Simpson spent the afternoon at Sybourn School in Leyton recently and they spoke to 90 year six pupils before taking part in multiple football sessions in the playground.
The local school children had done their homework on Simpson and McAnuff, and they were particularly excited about Simpson’s Arsenal career and McAnuff’s national success with Jamaica.
McAnuff returned from international duty on Tuesday, having played Venezuela on March 27 and being part of the side which won 2-1. .
McAnuff said: “It was great to chat to the kids and be able to spend some time giving them some tips on the football. It brings back memories of being at school and wanting to play football all the time, but I made sure that they realised that my mum would never let me play football unless I had done all of my school work!”
Rudelle, one of the Sybourn students has turned her education around, after getting into trouble in lessons. It was the school football team that has helped her to become a hard working pupil and she is now a Sports Ambassador for the school. Rudelle is a very keen footballer and she achieved a bronze medal with the school team in the Waltham Forest School Sports Network League. She said, “I enjoyed asking the players about their career. They taught me to listen to teachers and work hard at school as well as playing football so I can achieve more.“
Mr Spall teaches literacy at Sybourn School, and he said: “Today has been brilliant, they are London born lads that play for our local team, it is a great inspiration for our pupils. It really has helped the children to realise that you have to work hard if you want to achieve your dreams.“
Orient also gave Sybourn School tickets to the O’s game against Port Vale last Saturday as part of the 50/50 scheme. This scheme allows the school to sell the tickets at a discount price and keep half of the money to use on equipment or facilities for the school.
When asked if the children wanted to go, the entire room threw their hands in the air with excitement, they chose a great game to cheer The O’s on and even saw a 3-1 win!
Mr Spall said: “It is important to get the children involved with their local club, and the 50/50 ticket scheme is a great way of doing this.
Mrs Thomas added: “So many of the children have never seen a football match before, and the ones that went last time loved it so much that some of them even said it was the best day of their lives.”
Football can be very expensive but the 50/50 scheme enables the pupils to come along with their family and friends for a discounted price. Mrs Thomas explained: “The reduced price of the tickets makes it possible for the kids to go to the game which is such a fantastic opportunity. We will then be able to afford new equipment, which enables the students to progress in sport and get more out of physical education.”
Mr Spall added: “It is such an amazing experience for them. After the 50/50 match, we get them to write a match report and it really does help their literacy skills.”
Here is a short video of the O’s trip to Sybourn School: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0vLoE03f_0