Foundation staff would usually spend up to 10 hours with students either out on the training pitch or attending fixtures but due to the country being in lockdown, this has not been possible.
Therefore, the Foundation has adapted to the new Government guidelines and is currently delivering a seven-week virtual programme to more than 600 of our college academy students from around the south-east of England.
A series of seminars and workshops have been made available for students, with topics including UCAS, scouting and player identifications, performance analysis and coaching in the female game.
Students have also been given challenges to complete and been provided with resources linking to health and wellbeing and nutrition and diet.
James Phillips, Chelsea Foundation senior officer of football projects, said: ‘Through the Foundation College Academy steering group we have developed this virtual programme for the players to ensure they remain engaged throughout this lockdown period.
‘Having missed most of the season’s football due to previous lockdown, we knew this period would be the most difficult for the players, so we had to ensure that the programme provided those players with the maximum opportunity to engage with it.
‘The seminars and challenges have proved to be hugely popular, providing an element of competition between colleges and also internally between team-mates.’
Chris McGinn, head coach of the Chelsea Foundation College Academy at Uxbridge College, said: ‘The virtual college programmes have really catered for everyone here at Uxbridge College.
‘It has been fantastic to be able to offer everything from fitness, exit routes to university, support with their course work, workshops on becoming a coach and so much more.
‘These types of things have kept the players engaged socially, which in the current circumstances has been so important.
‘Where they can’t meet friends and family it can be such a hard time for everyone, so to have things which engage students and socially, educationally and physically has been so important.
One student that has felt the benefit of the virtual programme provided by the Chelsea Foundation is Uxbridge College student Rhys.
He said: ‘After attending the Becoming a Coach and the St Mary’s University workshops, I have decided to get my FA Coaching qualifications to join Chelsea Foundation as a coach, and to join St Mary’s University in September 2021.’
For more information on the Foundation’s 16-18 football and education programmes, click here
Find out how the Chelsea Foundation is supporting the community during lockdown through the delivery of a range of programmes here
As we continue to help those most in need, the Foundation has now called on fans to help support our wider communities and increase the number of people helped. You can donate to the Chelsea Foundation appeal here