Academy boys Josh Brooking, Dion Rankine and Charlie Wiggett visited Pimlico Academy last week to take part in the Foundation's Chelsea Champions project.

The Blues met Year 9 students from the secondary school of former pupil and Chelsea Academy graduate Tammy Abraham on Friday afternoon. The introductory session saw the youngsters share interesting facts about themselves before taking part in a question-and-answer session with the students.

The event was part of the Foundation’s Chelsea Champions programme, which places full-time Foundation staff within secondary schools to develop emotional wellbeing, resilience and coping mechanisms of students through a number of universal, targeted and individual measures.

On the importance of projects like Chelsea Champions, Rankine said: ‘We are seen as role models so we have to show ourselves in a good light to try and inspire the young students.

‘I hope they took a little bit of inspiration from us to stay resilient and hard-working so that they are able to follow their dreams in the future.'

The aim of the first session was to learn about being resilient, hard-working and confident, and the 17-year-old believes the three traits are relevant in all aspects of life.

‘You have to be resilient in and outside of football and it’s important to share the message with the students so that they can be the best person possible later in life, no matter what they do,’ said the former Cambridge United youngster.

After the Q&A in the classroom, the students were put through their paces by the Academy trio who lead a warm-up, a drill and then a small-sided game, taking part in all activities themselves. Rankine enjoyed being a coach for a change.

'I really enjoyed it', he said. 'It was good to teach the students some of the things we do on a daily basis and see what they can do.'

The initiative sees members of our Academy, like Rankine, paying regular visits to schools to engage with young people about a variety of issues. The remaining two sessions will take place in 2020 and the scholars will deliver presentations on what it means to be a team player versus being a team leader, and then conclude with a class on working towards goals.

Other Academy players visited Fulham College Boys School, Thomas Bennett in Crawley and Chelsea Academy to deliver similar workshops with students.