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Palace players join in with community showcase

Our Match of the Day community feature was broadcast last week, so we invited the entire Palace Men and Women’s teams and Managers to get involved with a variety of our programmes to get an idea of the work we do with young south Londoners all year round.

Held at the Academy dome, players experienced a twist on one-to-one mentoring, where our own participants delivered a mentoring session with them. Players took penalties with our famous DS Eagles, brushed up on their maths and numeracy skills, and were challenged by our Get Involved, Premier League Kicks, and Girls Emerging Talent Centre participants.

Crystal Palace Manager Oliver Glasner said: “It’s a fantastic afternoon for us supporting the Foundation and all the activities they are doing. When you come here, you are told that it’s so nice for the children, but it’s a great experience for all of us as well to interact with the children, to play and have fun with them.”

Two first-team squads, 100 Palace for Life participants and six different programmes were filmed by the BBC camera crew, which aired the morning of Palace’s 5-2 triumph against West Ham and Palace Women’s 2-0 win against Lewes.

The teams were split up into groups of six or seven and spent ten minutes with each programme, meeting the participants. One programme that really stood out to Ebere Eze was the mentoring session.

He said: “The mentorship programme is so key because there are people that are growing up, being influenced by the different people around them; these mentors are guiding them and keeping them on the straight and narrow”

Sarah Hoddy, Targeted Intervention Manager at Palace for Life spoke about the mentoring we offer:

“We provide a one-to-one mentoring service that’s not football based, it’s a completely free service to access. Young people get referred in, they might be going through something, it might be mental health, they might be at risk of criminality. They come along, get some support from a professional in a really relaxed informal setting”

Another programme present at the day was our flagship community programme, Premier League Kicks. Palace Women Defender Fliss Gibbons had a kick around with the participants, she said:

“Crystal Palace as a football club are really proud of the work they do in the community and they do so much for it and without things like this we wouldn’t be where we were. It’s really nice for us to come down and hopefully make their days a little bit better”

If you would like to donate to help us reach even more young south Londoners, head here.

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