Premier League Inspires: Sarabia leading the way for students

Premier League Inspires: Sarabia leading the way for students Image

Wolves forward Pablo Sarabia headed out to the meet young people in Wolverhampton, as part of Wolves Foundation’s Premier League Inspires programme.

Premier League Inspires is a personal development programme supported by the Premier League and Professional Footballers’ Association, mainly delivered in secondary schools, with hundreds of students involved in Wolverhampton and the surrounding areas.

It uses the power of football to inspire 11-18 year-olds to develop the personal skills and positive attitudes to reach their full potential.

Sarabia visited Wombourne High School, where the Wolves Foundation regularly deliver sessions with students.

The Spaniard took part in games at the school and shared his experiences with the Year 11 group around topics such as leadership, mentors and role models within the game and beyond.

Sarabia said: “It’s very important for them to feel that we support them when they’re growing up because this age is not easy.

“I think from 11 years old until about 18 it’s very important to have confidence in yourself because you have to take a lot of important decisions in your life – it’s important to believe in yourself. “

“When I was growing up it’s very important to have an example in your life. It’s good to have a reference in the world so I like to help the young people.”

This weekend’s Wolves vs Sheffield United match is the annual Wolves Foundation Focus Fixture, shining a light on the work of Wolves Foundation across the city.

It also comes as part of the Premier League’s ‘More Than A Game’ campaign, showcasing how the league’s wide-ranging investment into all levels of football enables people connected to clubs to have a positive impact on their local communities.

Kurran Kullar leads on the Premier League Inspires activities for the club’s official charity, as senior schools officer for the Foundation.

“From the moment Pablo came in their faces just lit up,” he beamed. “I think the impact that professional footballers can make on a young person’s life is significant.”

“We’re currently in 10 schools in the local area, and we work with young people who have low self-esteem, low confidence, and a bit of behaviour management. We try to support them as best as we can do through these sessions and workshops.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the students here. They started off a bit nervy, a bit shaky, but they’ve come on leaps and bounds and are really getting stuck in.

“They don’t see me as a teacher. I’m there to support them and they know they can always lean on me when they need to.”

Premier League Inspires empowers participants to develop personal, social, employability and life-skills, providing pupils with the help they need now and supporting them to plan for the future.

“The Wolves Foundation coming here is essential,” says Wombourne High School’s deputy headteacher Nick Hamilton.

“Education is different for every student – we need to have support in place academically and emotionally for the children.

“The impact that Kurran and the team have had having looking at careers, ambitions and trying to give the students some motivation, it’s vital.”

“They’re building up the resilience and confidence with some of the students who have not had straightforward journeys in school. Some have had to tackle anxiety, some have had to build up their self-esteem.

“They’ll talk openly about how the staff at the Wolves Foundation’s and the Premier League Inspires programme have helped them overcome that, and also looking at their long-term ambitions and how they’re going to achieve success.”

You can catch the feature with Wolves Foundation and Pablo Sarabia on BBC Match of the Day’s Sunday morning repeat show (7.35am, BBC One) or on the BBC iPlayer all week after the live broadcast.

"Of course it’s so important to give back to the community and Wolverhampton as a whole. It's great to be here and to show our support."

Maximilian Kilman | Wolves Captain and Foundation Ambassador

"As a lifelong Wolves fan, to represent the Club and Foundation is something I'll cherish forever."

Daz James | Wolves Disability FC

"Without Wolves Foundation I wouldn't be here today, that's for certain."

John Martin | Head 4 Health participant

"It is amazing to be out there meeting people and having some fun. It is really important for Wolves to have this connection with the fans and to see the happiness in their faces."

Toti Gomes | Wolves Defender

"Savannah absolutely loves the group. The staff are committed to making every single session fun and welcoming."

Natasha | Healthy Goals parent

"It’s special because it's my club and I’m so proud to be from Wolves as well. I can see the projects and all the work Wolves Foundation are doing and I know it makes such an impact, so to even be a little part of that and to help out where I can – it's so exciting."

Amber Sandhu | Broadcaster and Foundation Ambassador

"It’s huge for the school, I can’t speak highly enough of Wolves Foundation and the opportunities that they give us."

Mr Robinson | Woodsetton School

“I think all football clubs should be the beating heart of their communities and Wolves, through the Foundation, manages to do that."

Johnny Phillips | Sky Sports Presenter and Foundation Ambassador

"We get loads of different opportunities with a Premier League club. I feel really privileged to be a part of it."

Mustafa | Football & Education College Academy student

"Frank has Alzheimer’s Disease and when he was first diagnosed we felt lost and alone. Attending Molineux Memories is a lifeline for both of us; it is run by friendly, committed staff who ensure that everyone is included and enjoys themselves."

Frank and Alison | Molineux Memories

"To come here and be hands on with the kids is unreal. Working with Wolves and the Foundation is a blessing and I'm honoured. It feels surreal sometimes but it's the best feeling."

S-X | Music Producer and Foundation Ambassador

"It's good to give back what you got. Football and the Wolves Foundation help me, so I like to help the community."

Taye | Premier League Kicks

"Wolves is a fantastic football club, and they’re excelling off the pitch as well with all the brilliant community work that the Foundation does. The passion of the coaches and the opportunities to play are amazing."

Jack Rutter | Former Great Britain Paralympian and Foundation Ambassador

"Wolves has definitely helped my personal development, but now also helps me to develop people I work with. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the opportunities Wolves Foundation have given me."

Carl Ackasovs | Wolves Foundation

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