Hugh John hails Chelsea FC's innovative new tech camp for students  

The worlds of Premiership football and digital creativity are coming together for young Londoners from disadvantaged backgrounds, in a unique education project at the home of the Premier League Champions, Chelsea Football Club.

The Chelsea Foundation Digital Camp, led by teacher Renaldo Lawrence and Chelsea Foundation head of education Matt Mead, has been created in association with Chelsea FC Foundation, Wipro, a global information technology company, online learning specialists Lynda.com and computer graphics giant Adobe.

The aim of the Chelsea Foundation Digital Camp is to raise students’ life aspirations, feed their digital curiosity and enhance their career goals. And it will do this through a two-day course (February 15-16) in which they will experience top-level football coaching at Stamford Bridge along with introductions to Adobe’s creative digital tools and the world of at-your-fingertips online learning provided by Lynda.com.

Students given free software subscriptions from Adobe and Lynda.com

The 14 students, boys and girls aged 13, can continue to use their digital resources after the event thanks to subscription donations by Adobe and Lynda.com. Some of them come from Chiswick School where Renaldo Lawrence teaches.

picRenaldoLuRenaldo LawrenceAs an advanced skills teacher, Renaldo Lawrence is no stranger to digital innovation (see “The Innovators: 24 Renaldo Lawrence”) and is known for his role as an Adobe education leader, Apple distinguished educator, Microsoft expert teach and teacher developer and as a course author for Lynda.com

He is a former professional basketball player, and commented: "Growing up in the States, having people to take an interest in me and what I was interested in meant so much to me. Without those people there is no telling what I would be doing now. So ever since I grew up, I have dedicated myself to helping other children see what is possible in their lives. If they have never seen it, there is a good chance they don't know it exists, and I want to make sure they understand that they can do anything in this world if they have goals, dreams and a plan to get them accomplished.”

An exerienced educator, Matt Mead has a long track record working within education and sport and is currently using its remarkable pulling power through the Chelsea Foundation, which is the world’s largest football-related charity. The foundation currently engages with more than one million participants globally across 31 countries.

The power of football – 'a great feeling and infectious'

picMattMeadU2Chelsea's Matt MeadChelsea was formerly involved in the national, government-supported Playing For Success education programme and now runs a plethora of courses from primary education through to further education based around employability, enterprise, business start up, English and maths and sport. Over the past two years, Chelsea Foundation has worked with a number of schools, colleges and businesses to support youngsters from different backgrounds to move forward in learning.

Matt Mead said, "Having seen first hand how the power of football can impact a young person or adult’s life, it’s a great feeling and it’s infectious. A powerful and engaging tool like football has the ability to break down barriers to learning and create opportunities for people to think differently about how they learn and achieve goals, which they never thought were possible.

"Helping people has always been part of my life and being able to influence so many people through a global brand like Chelsea makes it so much easier to spread the good work and impact people on a daily basis."

Both educators are convinced that the Chelsea Foundation Digital Camp can galvanise its students using the power of football and sporting values linked to the world of work, along with 21st century skills and digital tools and resources to support them. Agent4change.net will be going along to learn with them.

More information

Renaldo Lawrence can be contacted via www.renaldolawrence.com and rllearning.com
Twitter: @lawrencerenaldo
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is head of education at Chelsea Foundation 
Twitter: @mattjmead


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