17/07/2017

Disability Programme Celebrated

Watford FC participants on the Premier League and BT Disability programme took part in a special ‘Festival of Sport’ event at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury to celebrate the first successful year of the Premier League and BT’s partnership.

The ‘Festival of Sport’ was hosted by BT presenters Abi Griffiths and Jake Humphrey, and saw participants from 20 clubs including Watford, who run the Premier League and BT Disability programme, take part in a range of different sports, including athletics, boccia and basketball, each developing their own skills throughout the event by recording their best times and results at each sports station.

The three-year Premier League and BT Disability programme aims to inspire disabled people through sport and will see the organisations work together to provide funding to Premier League clubs to create more opportunities for disabled people across England and Wales. 

Since the Premier League and BT Disability programme was launched at the London Stadium last September, clubs have engaged over 10,000 disabled people and 27 per cent of those taking part in club sessions have been female. 

The programme looks to encourage disabled people to be more physically active and to help access talent pathways and more mainstream opportunities. Other supportive work has been done in partnership with the clubs, The Shippey Campaign and The Lord Taverners to implement sensory rooms at stadiums, following successful introductions at Watford, Middlesbrough and Sunderland.

Jake Humphrey, BT Ambassador, said: “It's amazing to see all of these young kids giving it their all and just having a brilliant day. There's a good competitive spirit. 

“The important thing is that without this Premier League and BT initiative, a lot of these groups wouldn't be put on because it just costs so much money and the finances simply wouldn't be there. You come on a day like this and you see that absolutely it is making a difference. It's really important.” 

Nick Perchard, Head of Community at the Premier League, added: “The Festival of Sport was designed to bring together the inspiring individuals from clubs who have been taking part in disability sessions over the past season, to share their stories and experiences, whilst also trying a range of different sports.

“The event has been the perfect way to celebrate the first year of the partnership with BT and to showcase the great inclusive work that clubs are delivering week-in-week-out. I look forward to seeing how this programme continues to develop over the next two years.”

First Team 14/07/2017

Chalobah | Exclusive First Interview

Walking into the Hornets' London Colney Training Ground was a very different experience second time around for Nathaniel Chalobah. 

Highly rated, fresh-faced and just 17-years-old when he arrived in 2012, the Chelsea loanee came without so much as a first-team notch on his belt, to a club that was itself venturing into a new era.

A Premier League winner rolled through the UCL gates on Thursday night to sign a five-year deal.

The 22-year-old's journey since his 42-game breakthrough season with the Hornets has seen him take in experiences both rewarding and hardening, giving him the grounding, he says, to further his career at Vicarage Road. 

“I think since my first time here, I tried to go forward and improve within myself,” he explained exclusively to watfordfc.com.  

“I've had some good loans, some bad loans. Last year for me was a year I'll never forget, in terms of winning the league, but also with a manager who gave me an opportunity.

“But that's in the past now isn't it really? In football, people only remember the last thing you did. I want to focus on what's now, here at Watford.”

You can watch the full interview above (free, no sign-up required) in which Chalobah talks in detail about his reasons for leaving Chelsea, admiration for his new Head Coach and his international ambition.