Community review: October

A detailed overview of Wanderers' presence in the local community during October

October was certainly a busy time in the community for Wanderers with local youngsters treated to a training session with first team stars Alex Baptiste and Liam Feeney as the pair went back to school early on in the month.

Visiting The Gates Primary School in Westhoughton to take part in an after-school football session delivered by the club's Community Trust, the duo spent their time participating in basic drills which focused on a variety of skills such as ball control and dribbling before demonstrating their own tricks to the group of children. 

Meanwhile, Wanderers’ head of sport science Mark Leather paid a visit to one of the recent NHS blood donation sessions held at the Reebok Stadium.

A now regular event at the stadium, the first session took place in February 2013 with the club’s Community Trust having hosted the NHS Blood & Transplant team nine times since, helping almost 1,500 people donate blood in the process.

With an agreement now in place between the NHS and the club for monthly donor sessions to be hosted at the stadium until 2015, those interested in becoming involved will have ample opportunity to do so over the coming years.

Sanmi Odelusi was also a surprise guest when he popped along to a coaching session for Bolton Wanderers Junior Disability Football team.

Organised by Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, the weekly disability football sessions take place at Smithills Leisure Centre on Wednesdays for under-16s and at Bolton Arena for open age players on Fridays with both sessions running between 5pm-6pm and new players always welcome.

The Whites youngster helped deliver the coaching session alongside the BWCT coaches and then got involved in a few small sided games before finishing his time with the team by answering a few questions and offering some tips and advice to the teenagers.

Elsewhere, Zat Knight, Medo, first team coach Curtis Fleming and former Liverpool player Howard Gayle joined the Community Trust and Show Racism the Red Card at the Reebok Stadium for an annual educational event to raise awareness amongst young people around the dangers of racism.

A charity that works alongside professional football clubs, current players and ex professionals, over 70 young people from four local primary schools were involved in the event which included several workshops which included a practical artwork session with artist Colin Yates and a tour of the Reebok itself. 

In the latter stages of the day, the youngsters were able put their questions about racism to the panel of special guests with the quartet selected the best efforts to receive prizes of signed shirts and match tickets.

As the month drew to its conclusion, first teamers Andrew Lonergan, David Ngog, Chris Eagles and Craig Davies visited Ladybridge High School and St Catherine's Academy to take part in half-term football sessions organised by BWFC Juniors.

The quartet took part in Q&As with the youngsters who were between the ages of five and 13 before enjoying a kick-about and signing autographs for the children.

Wanderers stars Matt Mills and Darren Pratley also turned teachers for the afternoon when they took part in a special assembly at Claypool Primary School to educate pupils on emergency life-saving skills.

Delivered by club’s Community Trust, the school assembly was part of the Wanderers Hearts and Goals charity initiative - a campaign devised last season with the mission of helping to prevent death caused by Sudden Cardiac Arrest by raising awareness, offering CPR training to schools, workforces and community group as well as fundraising to position defibrillators throughout the community of Bolton.

Whilst BWCT staff led the assembly in front of all the school pupils from the primary school in Horwich, Matt and Darren helped to demonstrate how to perform basic CPR and how to use a defibrillator before two children were chosen to put their new found skills to the test by putting the two players into the recovery session.

The Wanderers duo then took part in a question and answer session where they talked to the children about the importance of an active lifestyle and how crucial it is for everyone to have access to AED equipment before ending their visit by presenting the school with their own defibrillator alongside BWCT staff and other charity partners of Wanderers Hearts and Goals including North West Ambulance Service, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and Physio Control. 

Finally, Jay Spearing and Rob Hall found themselves dressed as Monsters, Inc. characters Sulley and Mike as they attended the annual BWFC Juniors Halloween Party, joining in the fun with the youngsters present.
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