Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Pupils to work with Royals as school football coaches

ASPIRING football coaches at the Piggott School in Wargrave are to be given the chance to

ASPIRING football coaches at the Piggott School in Wargrave are to be given the chance to work with Reading FC.

The Twyford Road school has agreed a partnership with the Championship club in which students will be offered work experience placements with the chance of a job to follow.

The scheme has been arranged by PE teacher Andy Freeman, who used to be a professional with the Royals, and the Reading FC Community Trust, where former Piggott student Georgia Graham now works.

The work experience will be offered to sixth-form students who are on the school’s coaching programme. The teenagers will accompany the community trust team on visits to primary schools and help set up mini football tournaments for children.

Mr Freeman, who was also educated at the school and has been working there for 11 years, was a midfielder who played several games for Reading in 1995.

He said: “It’s a fantastic partnership for us because the students will get hands-on experience coaching at a professional club and it will raise the profile of the school and course. As part of the course our students study a range of FA qualifications and sports coaching qualifications.

“We are very different from a number of other football courses in the area in the fact we concentrate on developing the coach, not the player.

“The community trust approached us and asked if we had any good coaches who could go and work with them. We agreed they can go on work experience and if they are good enough they might even get employment out of it.”

Mr Freeman formally signed the deal with Dave Evans, manager of the trust, at the Madejski Stadium on Thursday last week.

Reading have also offered work experience opportunities for Piggott students studying subjects such as business and hospitality.

The school recently installed a new 3G pitch which received funding from the Football Foundation as well as contributions from local clubs such as Wargrave Girls, Wargrave Wolves, AFC Charvil and Twyford Comets.

The pitch will be available for the clubs to use outside school hours.

The school’s gym, which is run by Nuffield Health, is also open to the public after 5pm.

Piggott is looking for new students to join next year’s coaching programme. Applicants should be aged 16 to 18 and have an interest in football. To apply, call the school on 0118 940 2357 or email Mr Freeman on freemana@piggott.wokingham.sch.uk

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