Sport Department set for 'innovative' 2018

The Albion Foundation’s Head of Sport, Dave Lawrence, looks back on the success of 2017 for his department and previews the exciting challenges 2018 will bring…

2017 was a really good year for the Sport Department. We invested a lot of time and effort into our staff. Our coaches received a lot of training around school sport and PE, along with becoming better coaches and teachers.

There are numerous success stories we can take from 2017 but I think the true success stories are behind the development of our coaches and programmes to make sure the children we work with have the best opportunities.

By the end of the academic year we will probably have engaged with around 6,000 young people. The breadth of the projects, sessions and activities that these children can get involved in is vast.

We are gathering a really good reputation for providing outstanding school sport and our Premier League Primary Stars programme is one of the biggest out there.

One of the biggest challenges in 2018 will be continuing to grow with quality and ensuring we are recruiting good quality coaches.

120 schools will be engaging with us in 2018. This will be through attending a competition to having us in to deliver school sport for 25 to 30 hours a week.

We have a fantastic relationship with the schools we work in and I feel that's because of the value for money we provide.

For what the school or child actually get, it's by far and above the best package you can buy into.

We're not in the game of wanting to make the most money out of one child, we are a charity.

We're doing a lot of things that add value to what the school is currently doing.

We have schools and children that have been working with us for over ten years, so people really do feel part of The Albion Foundation family.

I'm excited about what 2018 holds for my department and what my coaches will offer the people in our community and further afield with our international projects.

I think girls football is going to increase in terms of opportunities and access and I believe the pathway for girls to be involved at a grassroots level before potentially going into our Girls Player Development Centre is going to be a really big programme for us this year.

2018 will be innovative.

Relationships will be strengthened, partnerships will evolve and I would say that all of our coaches are feeling really enthused by the year ahead.

For more information regarding the Foundation's Sport Department, please email