The Leyton Orient Trust is the oldest charitable trust, running since 1989, and was the first to gain charitable status in the Football League. They work closely with the club, delivering a range of programmes on health, education, and social cohesion. These sessions are run every half term, in addition to the weekly Theo sessions every Wednesday and Saturday.
Thirty-four children turned out for the course, the aim of which is to focus on skills development, fun competitions, and small sided games. This programme is run by James Court, Lead Development Coach for Schools and Football Development, who is assisted by Romaine Pearson, Michael Kalu and Casey-Jayne Ruggles, who is working with the Trust in conjunction with her Sports Science and Management studies at Nottingham Trent University.
Jamie Duff, whose two sons were attending the course said: “They’ve really enjoyed it, it has been a really good level of coaching and they’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience. My boys are aged six and nine, and I’d recommend it to any parent who wants their children to get better at football and have a really good, fun couple of days. It’s professionally organised, a fantastic opportunity for the children. I’ll definitely be bringing my children again and highly recommend it to other parents.”
When the players arrived, they began by signing some posters of the first team squad. It was then time for them to take to the pitch with Sargeant, who was making his first community appearance for the club this season, stepping into the 5-7 year olds’ match and Pollock joining the 9-11 year olds’ game.
A Q&A session followed, where both players gave the children extremely good advice on working hard to achieve their dreams in football. To finish the day, there was just enough time for a group photo and another short match, which saw Sargeant and Pollock go in goal for each team. Before they left, the children were also offered tickets to come and support the O’s against Notts County.
When asked about his first experience representing the club in the community, Sargeant said: “It’s been a really enjoyable one. It’s nice to come and give something back to the community. The questions asked by the children were intelligent and I enjoyed being in their company. It was good to see them enjoying themselves and playing some good football. I’d love to do it again sometime, I really enjoyed the day and it was a really good experience.”
Theo’s holiday courses will take place again next month, and for more information you can call 0208 556 5973, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Score Centre at your convenience.