West Ham United stars Lukasz Fabianski and Robert Snodgrass paid a visit to students at the University of East London (UEL) last week as part of their role as Players’ Project ambassadors.
The pair gave students on the West Ham United Foundation’s Applied Community Sport degree an insight into their life and how they deal with pressure as professional footballers in a wide-ranging Q&A session, before using their expertise in a practical coaching session.
Fabianski and Snodgrass visited the University’s SportsDock facility in Beckton, in their role as champions for learning and tackling loneliness in the Players’ Project – West Ham’s community scheme dedicated to creating opportunities, delivering a sporting legacy and changing lives in the local area.
The Hammers’ Foundation, in partnership with UEL, have been offering the degree programme since 2014, giving students the unique opportunity to gain work experience within the Foundation and learn all about a host of subjects within community sport, from sports science, principles of coaching, to issues such as inclusion and equality and community engagement.
Snodgrass was delighted to be able to pass his knowledge onto the students, saying: “We’ve been interacting with students, talking about coaching, and their roles, as well as mental health. We’re doing practical work as well and we have tried to give them little pointers here and help them with what it’s like to be down here studying.
“They’re having to deal with pressure, nerves, anxiety. All different things where you’re getting into something, and you want as much information as possible to achieve the best results.
“It doesn’t matter what you do, whether that is football or anything else, you’re trying to be the best person you can be, and for these boys and girls down here, it’s no different.
“They’re coming here to try and better themselves and do the right thing, so if I can be here and try and help and give them some information, then all the better.”
Poland goalkeeper Fabianski added: “I hope this is inspiring for them, by making them realise we are as normal as they are. We all have dreams, and we have been able to reach our targets, and I hope this afternoon has been helpful for them so they can meet their targets and dreams too, so they keep believing, stay on the right path they chose, stick with it.
“I think the Players’ Project is something special, something different; to be able to be involved in helping the community, helping individuals grow as people, to help them maybe even realise that with what they do, they are able to achieve.
“It is very important and very inspiring for us as players, and the people we meet I think, so it really is a great project.”
The Foundation's Applied Community Sport Degree delivers incredible opportunities to all students. The first two years provide the chance to develop skills needed to gain employment in the sports sector, industry qualifications such as FA coaching badges and fantastic guest speakers.
Many past graduates from the Applied Community Sports Degree have gone on to either work with the West Ham United Foundation or continue their studies. The work placements that the degree offers students makes them highly employable individuals after completing the course.
If you are interested in applying for our brand new foundation degree in Community Sports Management (previously known as Applied Community Sport) you can visit uel.ac.uk/westham , or for further information please contact programme leader Andrew Griffiths, [email protected]