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Community

Hafizul Islam named our Premier League Community Captain

16 February 2024

Community

Hafizul Islam named our Premier League Community Captain

16 February 2024

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The Premier League provides funding for 164 football clubs across the Premier League, EFL and National League to deliver community programmes.

The majority of these are funded through the Premier League Charitable Fund (PLCF), which was established in 2010 to create positive sporting, health, personal and education opportunities for children, young people and the wider community. The Premier League is currently celebrating the More Than A Game campaign to showcase how its wide-ranging investment into all levels of football enables people connected to clubs to have a positive impact on their local communities.

As part of the More Than A Game campaign, we were asked to nominate a Community Captain. This should be someone that has played a major role in the Premier League funded events. We were proud to put forward Hafizul Islam as our Community Captain.

Hafizul first came to us as a participant on Premier League Kicks at the age of 16. PL Kicks is the league’s longest-standing programme, providing young people with access to free weekly football sessions, education and mentoring.

At Luton Town FC Community Trust, we delivered PL Kicks to over 700 young people in the last year.  We were fortunate enough to receive further funding from Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation (BLCF) this year, allowing us to enhance our delivery and increase informal education delivered by youth workers at these sessions.

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Hafizul showed a fantastic attitude and expressed an interest in undertaking his coaching qualifications, which we were happy to support him with along with a group made up from other PL Kicks participants. He then made the move from participant to volunteer, now taking on a senior role amongst what was previously his peers.

It wasn’t long before we realised Hafizul had a real talent and confidence in delivery and was offered part-time work through the trust supporting on our holiday camps. Again, Hafizul thoroughly impressed us with his excellent leadership skills and was swiftly offered more work, this time working on our Mini Hatters programme, running on Saturday mornings for three-to-five year olds.

Working with a completely different age group didn’t phase Hafizul at all and it was clear to see that he was capable of even more.

Fast forward to today and Hafizul is now established as a full-time member of staff with Luton Town FC Community Trust, working as School’s Officer in Wigmore Primary School, where he delivers the Premier League Primary Stars programme. PL Primary Stars is currently running at over 19,000 schools across England and Wales, using football as a tool to support learning across literacy, numeracy and PSHE and other areas of the curriculum.

Wigmore Primary School, Headteacher, Mr Johnston was full of praise for Hafizul.

He said: “In his time with us Hafizul has developed a positive rapport with the young people at Wigmore. He is supporting the learning that is happening in the classrooms and the children have responded well to this, developing an increased confidence in different curriculum areas. He has also been leading fun and engaging games on the playground to help the children understand the importance of good physical and social health. 

“The work he has completed in PSHE has tied in very well with our school values, doing small group work on resilience, understanding and celebrating diversity and developing positive self-esteem.”

Hafizul was presented with the Community Captain award this week and it was an extremely special day.

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The BBC came into the school to film Hafizul as part of a community feature for Match of the Day 2, which will air on 3rd March. He was filmed supporting the pupils in literacy and numeracy lessons, as well as leading outdoor activities at lunchtime.

Then came the afternoon assembly where Mr Johnston, talked about the importance of current school value of empathy, as well as the upcoming class awards. Mr Johnston then explained that there were some special guests in the school to present an award, introducing Thomas Kaminski and Sambi Lokonga. Needless to say the children were extremely excited to see two of their Hatters heroes in their school. Thomas and Sambi then presented Hafizul with his Community Captain award.

Hafizul said: “This was a massive surprise. I was speechless when my name was called. It was just a huge honour to receive the award, especially to have it awarded to me by Thomas and Sambi!”

Thomas and Sambi were very generous with their time, sticking around to answer question from the children, including some that were asked in French with the pupils taking the opportunity to practice their language skills!

We’re incredibly proud of Hafizul and what the journey he has undertaken through Luton Town FC Community Trust.

He’s a great role model for young people and richly deserved the Premier League Community Captain award.

Congratulations Hafizul!

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