Chelsea Academy players had a special visitor to Cobham last week as Ivor Perl BEM, a Holocaust survivor, spent time with our Under-15s prior to their visit to Auschwitz this month.
Ivor shared his experiences of the Holocaust and Auschwitz with players and staff from our Under-15s group during a question and answer session at the training ground. Born in Hungary, Ivor was just 12 years old when he was taken to the concentration camp with his mother, sisters and younger brothers - only he and one of his eight siblings survived. Click here to read more about Ivor's story.
The players then took part in the Foundation Stones project, which invites people to paint a commemorartive stone to be placed within the foundations of the new UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre as a mark of remembrance to the six million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust and all other victims of Nazi persecution.
The visit supports Chelsea's 'Say No to Antisemitism' campaign, which was launched in 2018 to raise awareness and educate our players, staff, fans and the wider community about antisemitism in football and wider society. The campaign has won numerous awards including the Community Project of the Year Award at the London Football Awards last season.
Chelsea Under-15s were selected to travel to Poland for the Premier League’s educational visit as the winners of the Under-14 International Cup last season. The young Blues will fly to Poland to visit Auschwitz as part of the tour after competing in a small tournament against Hertha Berlin, Legia Warsaw and Banik Ostrava.
All participating teams had to complete an educational task on the Holocaust prior to the visit and present to the other teams while on tour. Ivor's visit to Cobham was documented by Chelsea TV and was well-recieved by the opposition. A further feature on the team's trip to Poland will follow in the coming weeks.