Tribute paid to community work

West Ham United's community department received high-profile backing this week when shadow sports and Olympics spokesman Hugh Robertson paid a visit.

As part of his ongoing research into the way Barclays Premier League clubs interact with their local communities, Mr Robertson met with West Ham United Finance Director Nick Igoe, who represents the club as a Trustee of the Community Scheme, and Chief Executive of Community Mick King.

After a presentation of the club's overall development strategy, Mr Robertson was taken to the Beckton Training Centre in east London, where he witnessed a range of education activities catering for both children and adults. He was impressed by the vision, commitment, and sense of responsibility demonstrated by the club towards its local communities.

He was equally impressed by the high standard of delivery from the Community coaches, and their enthusiasm and passion for their work. Mr Robertson was keen to emphasise the importance of West Ham United's development initiatives, and was full of praise for the way the club and its staff engage with the local community.

He said: "It was extremely encouraging to come down to the West Ham United training ground and see so many people enjoying football. It is clear from what I've seen today that West Ham United is a great community club, and it was fantastic to see all the work that it is doing to help local people to develop. Anybody in this part of London is very fortunate to have West Ham United on their doorstep to give them this sort of training."

Picture caption: Trainee community coach Malithi Sellapperuma emphasises the importance of balance to Mr Robertson as part of a dribbling technique session.

Click here to find out more about the club's Community work