Kingsmeadow played host to the first Chelsea Challenge School Trip on Thursday as more than 400 youngsters attended a Chelsea FC Women open training session.
The Chelsea Challenge has been running all season with schools enjoying specialist coaching from the Chelsea Foundation and player visits as part of the initiative.To celebrate the success of the programme, students from 10 schools visited Kingsmeadow to watch Emma Hayes put her players through their paces before the manager and several players took part in a Q&A with those in attendance.Speaking to the children after the event, the Chelsea manager said: ‘Dream as big as you can! Whatever you want to do, dream about it and believe you can achieve it and remember you can make anything possible if you work hard enough. I have a job I love and hard work, determination and resilience play a big part in reaching your dreams so hopefully you can all be inspired to achieve them.‘I am glad you are all involved in the Chelsea Challenge as it is important you all keep active, get outside and run around. Not just for our health but for our heads.’The questions – submitted to the players – revolved around health and well-being, how to get in to football as a female and a cheeky question about what the players would change if they were the manager!Vice-captain Millie Bright stepped forward to answer that question in diplomatic fashion with her manager watching on from the stands. She said: ‘I wouldn’t change anything. Football for me is about having fun and surrounding yourself with good people in a good environment and that is exactly what we have at Chelsea.’
The players were also asked who would win the Barclays FA Women’s Super League this season, to which all four unequivocally said Chelsea, leading to big cheers from the noisy children in attendance. Designed to promote fitness and well-being, the programme is offered exclusively to schools in and around Kingsmeadow and London and provides classroom-based exercises designed to get kids moving and having fun.Participating schools will be able to access exclusive offers including matchday tickets and school visits from Chelsea FC Women’s players and ambassadors.
Teacher Kelsie Hill from Kings Oak Primary School added: ‘It’s absolutely brilliant for the children to be here. They so rarely get the chance to experience something like this.‘I think it is especially important for the girls, who get to see and hear from their role models.‘The Chelsea Challenge has been great and we can put on the footage any time and it gives the children a bit of a brain break. They have absolutely loved it and hopefully we can keep doing it.’Click to register your school for the Chelsea Challenge
You can watch the Blues at Kingsmeadow on Sunday 2 February when we take on West Ham United in the Women's Super League. Kick off is at 2pm and tickets can be purchased here.