Keeping good community links with local schools is just one of the priorities of the Club and Trust and for the past 10 years, Leyton Orient and Norlington Boy’s School and 6th Form in Leyton have been a pretty close partnership.
The school’s steel-pan band has entertained on match days whilst various players have appeared at the school on numerous occasions helping with curriculum subjects. The school even had an ex-O teaching PE in the form of Phil Hadland until he moved on to pastures anew.
Earlier in the season, Dan Happe presented honours at the schools annual awards evening held at the Waltham Forest Civic Hall and another annual event, the school sports day and awards, has seen not just players but even Theo the Wyvern make an appearance!
However, with the sports day falling on the first team’s rest-day this year, it was up to the Academy to represent the Club this time around and Brendon Shabani, Will Sanders and Brad McClenaghan took up their roles with aplomb.
Paul Hobbs, Assistant Principal at Norlington, said: “Norlington is grateful for the ongoing support of Leyton Orient. The young men who represented the club at our event were true role models and contributed massively to a great occasion. The large majority of students look up to footballers are were delighted to receive their medals from them and get the opportunity to chat with them.”
This was the seventh year that the O’s had supported the school event, held at the Lee Valley Sports centre in Edmonton, North London, Leon McSweeney and Scott Cuthbert having first attended in 2013.
Paul ended by saying, “Thanks to Lewis (Spencer) for organising. The three of them were great. I did a little Q & A with them over the PA system and then they gave out the medals and talked to students and posed for photos. The students really do appreciate the relationship we have with Leyton Orient and the acquaintance certainly helps in creating fans for the club as I know some are now regular supporters.”
Lewis Spencer, head of the Leyton Orient Academy, stated: “As a club we are fully committed to developing the rounded young man. These experiences are vital as we maintain our strong links with the young lives within our local communities.”