Over 80 lucky local youngsters from throughout Newham and the surrounding areas took to the Upton Park pitch recently in a celebration of West Ham's Community Sports Trust, to be screened exclusively on the BBC's Match of the Day.

Following an open first team training session, Joint-Chairman David Gold, Hammers manager Sam Allardyce and a selection of first team players, plus Olympic gold medal-winning rower Mark Hunter were on hand to support a whole host of multi-sports activities.

Joint-Chairman David Gold was delighted to see the young talent on show. He said, "The sport they're playing really doesn't matter as long as they are here and participating, that's the key. You could see just by looking around how excited they were."

He added, "The club are playing a very important part in embracing and inspiring these young people and I am just pleased to be part of it."

Showcasing sports from boxing, athletics to cricket and of course football, the event was also geared towards sharing the success of the club's flagship Trainee & Mentoring Scheme.

The West Ham Community Sports Trust work throughout deprived local boroughs providing young people with the training, skills and confidence to take on and succeed in new employment opportunities.

Funded by the Premier League & Professional Football Association, the Trainee & Mentoring Scheme is currently in its second year of a three-year programme.

Kickz Coordinator George Chukwuma said, "Some of the children dream about attending West Ham matches but for them to actually have the opportunity to take part in a coaching session on the pitch, it's a great experience for them."

Away from the Boleyn Ground turf, pupils from Brampton Primary School, in East Ham, were learning all there is to know about Hammers history and the Olympic legacy in a number of educational activities at the club's Learning Zone. Youngsters were also treated to a surprise visit from striker Ricardo Vaz Te.

"It's always good to give something back to the community and set the right example for the youngsters, especially when you're in the spot light," said Vaz Te.

"We're more than just football players these days, we can be positive role models."

Don't miss West Ham's community feature on Match of the Day on Sunday 28th April on BBC1 at 7.35am

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