Global charity partner Plan International held their annual pitch day at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, raising valuable funds and awareness for the children’s charity.
Led by Chelsea Foundation coaches, the day was split in two with the morning session a Women’s Skills event and the afternoon seeing the return of the Champions of Change Cup for the fourth successive year.
All money raised will go to Plan and help transform the lives of thousands of girls and boys around the world through the power of football.
Club ambassador Katie Chapman (below), who recently ran the London Marathon to raise money for our club partner Plan, joined the morning session and was delighted to see so many women getting the opportunity to play at the Bridge.
She said: ‘This charity means a lot to me, and the work they are doing is so important both to help children and push for equality not just here but around the world.
‘The best thing today was just the smiles on the faces of the women. Everyone can play football, you just need a ball and a goal, but to do it at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea Foundation coaches is a wonderful opportunity.’
The women in attendance enjoyed expert coaching from the Foundation staff on site, before experiencing what it is like to play for the Blues by stepping out of the tunnel and enjoying small-sided games to round off the session.
Participant Hema Padda said: ‘It’s been a great day, we’ve learnt a lot about passing, dribbling but also team building and just had a fantastic morning.
‘It’s the first time I’ve played football but I will definitely try again. I am a charity champion at work so do a lot to support Plan and I am delighted to do that while being active at this stadium!’
Attention switched to the Champions of Change Cup in the afternoon with eight teams competing in a mini-tournament before a knockout competition to see who would be crowned winners on the day.
The real winners however are the children we are supporting through working together with Plan International and money raised at events like this will help these children get back to being children through the power of football.
Plan International UK CEO Tanya Barron said: ‘Thank you to everyone who has come down today and especially to Chelsea for hosting the day with us.
‘The fun and support from you all on the pitch means together we can help more children enjoy their childhood around the world.’