COMMUNITY SCHOOL PROJECT KICKS-OFF
At the home game against Chippenham Town, the club welcomed staff, students and parents from Totternhoe Lower School to Creasey Park as part of its Community School Education and Engagement Project. John McLoughlin, the Chairman, has made it his stated ambition that Dunstable Town will be actively collaborating with local schools in a number of ways to develop a strong relationship between them and the club.
As part of this initiative, each season the club will select a school to become the DTFC Community School. For 2016-17, this is Totternhoe Lower School. This partnership will take the form of the club providing football training sessions and educational activities for the students. The educational activities will be supported by Dunstable Library which has joined the initiative. The Library will run sessions for Totternhoe and other schools during the academic year. In turn, students, their parents and staff from Totternhoe and other schools will come along and support the team.
As part of the initiative, the opening of the Community School Stand was announced before the match and Totternhoe students were the match-day mascots. They took part in the pre-match kick-about and had photographs taken with the players. The highlight for one mascot was heading an Alex Cathline cross!
The initiative has caught the imagination of other schools. The Chairman and other club officials have been and will be visiting local schools and Central Bedfordshire College to develop the project in the coming weeks and months. As John McLoughlin argues – “These young people are the future of the club and we are committed to working with the schools, the college and other stakeholders to develop meaningful and long-term partnerships that fully embed the club within the community”.
Debbie Mitchelmore, Assistant Headteacher at Totternhoe Lower School who has been instrumental in getting this initiative off the ground stated: “The school is very excited about this new opportunity to be involved with Dunstable Town FC from both an educational and football perspective. We look forward to opportunities throughout the year to participate in football training sessions to be run by the club. We are looking forward to visits from the Chairman, Manager, players and the club’s historian”.