Chelsea FC Women defender Ali Riley recently took part in the first-ever Chelsea Foundation Digital Blue live event, engaging with more than 300 students from three schools and 10 classrooms located in New York. 

The Foundation’s Digital Blue – Career Inspiration programme offers students the opportunity to enjoy interactive content designed to reinforce key STEM skills while exploring exciting STEM careers that await.

And as part of our ongoing education work on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Riley spoke to students, through a video call, from both primary and secondary schools in New York about how she uses STEM throughout her footballing career.

Riley, who will be captaining New Zealand at this summer’s Women’s World Cup in France, also took part in a Q&A with the students in which she spoke about her reasoning for joining the Blues, life in London and hobbies she enjoys outside of football.

The 31-year-old defender said: ‘I really enjoyed taking part in the first Digital Blue live event.

‘It’s always important to take time out to be a part of events like this and give back to our supporters.

‘It was really great fun to speak to children on the other side of the world and also give them an insight into my life and how Science and Technology plays a part in my career as a professional footballer.’

‘It’s fantastic to see the work that the Chelsea Foundation are doing to help educate people from not just the local community but the international community too.

‘To give this opportunity to children over in the states is great to see, it’s something different and hopefully I will get other opportunities to be involved in the future.’

Chelsea Foundation Head of Education, Matt Mead said: ‘Having Ali support our first EVERFI virtual classroom from Cobham was a fantastic experience for the students in New York.

‘Knowing the students had spent time learning about Chelsea FC and STEM education via our Digital Blue EVERFI platform, it’s great to now connect a real Chelsea FC player to the students and further enhance their learning experience.

‘Ali was born and raised in California, so having a US voice connect with the students was really impactful and Ali was superb at bringing STEM to life via playing professional football and how physics, science and tech plays a role in the modern game.

‘Now reflecting on our first year working with EVERFI, it’s been a great experience taking the Chelsea FC brand and STEM Education into New York City classrooms via a digital solution and now adding the virtual classroom element, we really are breaking new ground for Premier League clubs in education, innovation and foundation awareness in the US.’

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