The COVID-19 pandemic hit RPT's Football Academy hard, with the club losing 30% of their annual participation fees during the lock-down. We're now facing the prospect of downsizing the programme and cutting teams if we cannot raise the £20,000 needed to fill the gap.
If we can raise £10,000 from more than 100 supporters, SportEngland will DOUBLE every donation to bring us to our £20,000 target.
In the 11 years since our Football Academy was established, it has grown to 9 teams and 120 players aged 4 to 13. Our players train every week and play competitively every weekend.
'Playing for RPT makes me feel proud and happy because they have helped me become better at football. I enjoy each session of football and taking part in matches.' — Tre, age 7
Since it started, our Football Academy has engaged more than 300 boys and girls in fitness and wellbeing sessions, teaching teamwork and the joy of exercise, and we work with most of our players from the age of 4 until they 'graduate' from our academy. We are working to becoming a full Under-6 to Under-15 academy in three years' time, meaning that well be supporting some of our players for more than 10 years.
As our teams develop, so does our coaching: we now have 10 qualified coaches all with a minimum of FA Level 1 training.
Whilst still a grassroots club, RPT F.C. is respected across London. Fifteen of our players have trained with or been signed to professional clubs, giving our local children a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pursue their dreams.
'I have been at RPT since I was six years old. Throughout these years, I have learnt so much more than just football. RPT has helped me to build character and certain aspects of the game have taught me about qualities that apply to life in general. RPT is unique. RPT is so much more than just a football club.' — Danny, age 12
Our Football Academy operates in North Kensington, the area of the UK with the highest discrepancy in wealth distribution. 85% of our service users live in an area of high deprivation or are eligible for free school meals and 85% of our service users are black, Asian or another ethnic minority (BAME).
'RPT's football club is like another family to my son. It has given him amazing opportunities to develop his football, taken him to play abroad and helped him to become a dedicated and well mannered young man. He has built great relationships with all his team mates as well as the coaches. I couldn’t thank RPT enough.' — Mum of player
Our Academy did their first international tour in 2018 to The Netherlands, followed by a tour to France in 2019. These experiences have allowed the players to build their skills and confidence, as well as an appreciation for other cultures and an understanding of how to conduct oneself in new, unfamiliar environments.
Our players work hard to support a programme they love, fundraising and contributing to the cost of uniforms and training sessions, but with pitch hire fees, professional membership fees and the costs of coach-training and qualifications ever-increasing, they need your help to keep the ball rolling.
'In the seven years my son has been at RPT, we have been really pleased with all aspects of his football development, but he has learnt much more than "just" football. Match days have taught him how to win and how to bounce back from losing, as well as the importance of working together as a team. Training has helped him develop discipline and a strong work ethic and has taught him to put his back into whatever he chooses to do. Above all, RPT has given my son stability and a sense of belonging and he wears his badge with pride.' — Father of player
Remember that if we can raise £10,000 from more than 100 supporters, SportEngland will DOUBLE every donation to bring us to our £20,000 target.