Dean Smith and players including Daniel Bentley and Sergi Canós took part in a special day that celebrated the achievements of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. Yesterday, Tuesday 20 March, all 72 EFL clubs came together for a memorable Community Day of Action. In West London, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust showcased three of their most life-changing community projects.
Brentford FC Head Coach Dean Smith, goalkeeper Daniel Bentley and midfield player Nico Yennaris took part in a Short Breaks Project at Osterley Sports Centre. The late afternoon athletics session is one of many put on as part of the project to provide much-needed respite to children with disabilities and their families.
Victoria Romaner, whose daughter Isabella attends the project, spoke movingly of its impact. Isabella suffers from developmental delay and has hearing and sight issues.
Victoria said: "This has helped her general confidence so much, and all the running has helped her physically as well. The confidence she has gained spills out into everything. She is not great with things like a bike or scooter, but she is a bit more confident now to attempt things."
Sergi Canós and Emiliano Marcondes visited a grassroots community coaching session in Acton, Ealing. They learned about the powerful impact sport can have for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds while doing some coaching and getting involved in the session.
And at Griffin Park Brentford B players Zain Westbrooke, Bradley Clayton, Jarvis Edobor and Nikolaj Kirk were also involved in the day. After playing a friendly against Manchester United Under-23, the quartet attended a unique post-match press conference with excited school children at the Griffin Park Learning Zone.
The school children were transformed into journalists with the help of Phil Parry and Billy Reeves from BBC Radio London. After an introduction to the art of journalism the youngsters grilled the players on their performance and wrote a match report on the Brentford v Manchester United clash.
Commenting on the importance of the day, Dean Smith, Brentford’s Head Coach, said: “Our Community Sports Trust is a big part of what we are and who we are at Brentford FC. Our ties with the community are through the Trust and in my experience, it is one of the best that's out there and touching parts you wouldn't normally get to.
“The EFL Community Day of Action is a chance to show this off. I am proud to be part of the day and I am pleased that so many of our players will be out in the community getting involved.”
Established in 1987, Brentford FC’s Community Sports Trust is now one of the leading community organisations linked to a professional football club in the country - engaging with more than 11,000 people across west London each year.
Lee Doyle, Chief Executive of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, said: “The EFL Day of Action is a fantastic way of connecting with clubs up and down the country through the power of sport. Attending the Short Breaks project, I can see first-hand the meaningful impact we’re making for children with disabilities through a range of sporting activities.”