The Learning Academy is just one of more than 40 schemes and initiatives improving the lives of thousands of people from across east London and Essex, giving aspiring young footballers released by professional clubs the chance to earn qualifications and continue playing to a high level.
Since the scheme was launched, three Learning Academy players have returned to the professional game, and the Hammers’ Mexican striker believes programmes of its type are of great importance to young people.
“I feel very good to be involved in The Players’ Project,” said the No17. “In Mexico, I am also an ambassador of UNICEF and I have always wanted to try to give a little more to the people in any way I can. I know that the first thing in my life is football, but I do things like this every time I can.
“I am happy that we are part of The Players’ Project and everything this scheme is doing to help many people, not only on the football pitch but everywhere.
“Of course, it is a very positive thing to be part of. It always gives you a lot of happiness and we enjoy it. People believe that only the participants enjoy it, but we also enjoy being able to be part of these collaborations that help a lot of people.”
I’m very excited and happy to be a part of this great movement and of this great campaign
The Players’ Project will see every member of the men’s and women’s squad commit their time to supporting a scheme benefitting the local community.
Chicharito will be joined by Manuel Lanzini, Ryan Fredericks and Brooke Hendrix in championing Sporting Excellence, encouraging people to aspire to participate in and watch elite sport.
The No17 was impressed by the standard of play demonstrated by the Learning Academy footballers and backed them to make the most of their talents, whether that be on the pitch or in the workplace.
“I was happy to be with them and it was very nice to see those players who have not had many opportunities or that had them and were then rejected, to see they keep working,” he observed.
“West Ham can give them this platform so they can continue training and also have some sessions or matches with in the Conference Youth Alliance, that always helps a lot
“As I say, I’m very excited and happy to be a part of this great movement and of this great campaign.”