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Brighton & Hove Albion deputy chairman Paul Barber gave students at Longhill High School a fascinating insight into the football industry during a visit organised by Albion in the Community.

Barber recently spent the morning at Longhill as part of Albion in the Community’s on-going partnership with the school; the charity delivers the Premier League Inspires programme there and has a member of staff based on-site full-time.

The assembly focused on Barber’s career in football and...

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Deputy chairman provides students with insight into the football industry

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Brighton & Hove Albion deputy chairman Paul Barber gave students at Longhill High School a fascinating insight into the football industry during a visit organised by Albion in the Community.

Barber recently spent the morning at Longhill as part of Albion in the Community’s on-going partnership with the school; the charity delivers the Premier League Inspires programme there and has a member of staff based on-site full-time.

The assembly focused on Barber’s career in football and the skills and attributes young people need to succeed in later life, be that within the football industry or in other areas. A smaller group of Year 10 students were then given the chance to quiz the Albion’s chief executive in a classroom setting and tell him more about the work they are doing with Albion in the Community.

The football club’s charity has a long history of working with Longhill, which is less than three-and-a-half miles from the American Express Community Stadium.

It is one of 168 schools in Sussex which now work with Albion in the Community, with the charity using football and the popularity of the Albion to inspire young people to better engage with their school work.

Schools are also regularly invited to spend the day at the Amex, with pupils taking part in football-themed lessons focusing on topics which may traditionally prove difficult to motivate young people in.

Albion in the Community also encourages pupils to be more physically active during the school day and hundreds of young people take part in the Albion Cup series of school football tournaments each year – the finals of which take place at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.

It is an approach which has certainly impressed Barber.

He said, “Albion in the Community is doing some fantastic work with local schools and it is great to see how motivated young people are by football – off the pitch as well as on it.

“The Amex and the training ground are both places the club always wanted the local community to have access to and to create benefits far beyond providing world class facilities for our teams. I’ve seen first-hand how inspiring visiting schoolchildren find the Amex, but equally, it is great to see the work being done by Albion in the Community out in the local area.

“I was very impressed with the young people I met at Longhill and encouraged to hear how much the school and its students value the work being done by Albion in the Community.

“It may sound like a cliché, but the club’s badge has a real power to inspire young people and it was brilliant to see that in evidence at a school which is little more than a stone’s throw away from the stadium.”

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