Summer in the city

It has been a busy summer in America for Chelsea Foundation coaches. Our partner club FC Harlem and youngsters from New York were among those to benefit from our extended visit Stateside.

FC Harlem and the Foundation have been officially working in partnership to develop community initiatives for young people in New York since July 2013, and our coaches first held sessions for local young players during the summer tour to the United States a year earlier

The partnership has gone from strength to strength since then with Foundation coaches delivering a variety of events this summer, including a three-day summer soccer camp to children from the boys and girls club of Harlem in July.

A month later our coaches returned to New York, this time to work alongside their counterparts from FC Harlem to deliver further soccer camps to players from across the entire city.

There were further events in Harlem including a special one-day event with our partners Delta, as well as a summer celebration in late August for many of the players who had taken part in one of the camps throughout the summer.

The on-going partnership with Harlem was supplemented this summer by activity in all three cities the first team visited on tour as part of the Here to Play, Here to Stay initiative.

Chris Woodward from the Foundation’s international department said: ‘The current programmes that FC Harlem offer to the local communities are fantastic and we want to develop the relationship further, engaging with players and parents from Harlem and the wider communities and this summer has allowed us to do that.

‘We have wanted to offer soccer camps in partnership with FC Harlem for a while now, so it is great that we can now deliver these across three weeks of the summer and give the children a true Chelsea experience, similar to what we offer back in England.’

Chelsea Foundation international technical support officer Andy Ottley, who has been visiting FC Harlem since the partnership began, said ‘We were very excited to be working with the boys and girls club and offering a unique soccer camp experience to children from Harlem.

‘We wanted to engage with and give back to the local communities and having coaches from Chelsea Foundation brings a special feeling to the camp, and we want the children to enjoy, learn and take something away from this opportunity.’