30th September 2011, Hammersmith Academy- Works4U brought together Betfair and Active Planet to participate in a sporting challenge which would make a valid contribution to the students from Hammersmith Academy. Active Planet strongly advocates the need to use sports as a tool to break down barriers within deprived communities and to create opportunities for disadvantaged youths. This attracted the attention of Betfair, which is an online leisure website offering a range of other sports betting products, casino games and poker. Together, both organisations wanted to do something positive for the community and for the students at Hammersmith Academy. This challenge installed discipline, focus and drive, as well as giving the kids a sense of achievement.
The main idea which was put forward and agreed as the best was to do a coaching session in Futsal. Betfair, with the advice from Active Planet both agreed that they could make this a very fun and productive activity for the students to participate in.
On the day, there were representatives from Works4U, Active Planet and a team of 6 Betfair volunteers. The day was then kicked off with a friendly game of Futsal which included the Betfair team to familiarise them with rules of the game. The Futsal coach then taught the volunteer team the rules of the game, principles of coaching and how to referee a game.
At lunchtime, the Betfair team carried out a Q&A session with 6th form students from Hammersmith Academy. The workshop session was a success, with the Betfair staff explaining what they do and how their roles help to improve and benefit the company. The students were extremely enthusiastic and were intrigued to learn about their roles and which routes they took in order to get to where they were today (i.e. university, certain accredited courses, building and maintaining business contacts etc) During the lunch period, the staff made themselves available to answer any more business and finance related questions in the dining room.
During the afternoon, the Futsal Coaching Challenge began. This involved around 30 students from Year 7 who were all excited about the prospect of learning the game. The Betfair staff adapted very well in regards to their coaching roles. They were assertive, decisive and conveyed very strong leadership skills which the children respected and followed. They could have easily been mistaken for teachers at the academy! They ran a few warm up drills, followed by ball control skills and dribbling techniques. They engaged with the children and the pupils were happy to listen and follow the guidance of the Betfair staff. Afterwards, the students had a mini 5 a side tournament which saw a majority of skills and cracking goals from the youngsters- definitely some future England stars!
The feedback which the volunteers from Betfair gave us was very positive and encouraging. The Team Leader, Sally Anscomb said “We’d like to thank Works4U for organising this day. All of us had a great time... We all thoroughly enjoyed it, and on behalf of Betfair, we look forward to doing some more challenges (with Works4U) in the future….”
For more information about team volunteer days in the local community, contact Works4U, email firstname.lastname@example.org