Elliott Bennett and Danny Guthrie were given a rugby challenge to tackle as they visited St Stephen's Primary School on the EFL Community Day of Action.All 72 clubs in the EFL have been showcasing the value that they bring to their local communities today, with events up and down the length of the country. Rovers were no exception to that rule, as the playmaking pair visited the local school in Blackburn to see the first day of their Premier League Primary Stars package being delivered.
Staff from Blackburn Rovers Community Trust invited the midfield duo to play an active part in the day, starting out by conducting two Q&A sessions back to back with all the junior school pupils as there were too many to fit in the hall all at once, given that it is one of the town's largest primary schools.
That was quickly followed by a chance for the players to try their hand at some basic rugby skills in the playground as the Community Trust coaches led an introductory session to the sport. Despite the height difference between the professionals and the pupils, we're pleased to report that there were no penalties handed out for high tackles, and neither player expressed a wish to convert to either code of the oval ball game, despite enjoying the experience!
There was a heightened media interest in the afternoon's events, given the scale of the EFL's campaign to highlight the power for positive change that our clubs bring to their local area.
In covering the fun, the local and national media has helped to make more people aware of the scale that each club can reach, away from the usual match action, thanks to the day-to-day work that dedicated community teams carry out over a range of social action projects.
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, for example, worked with over 42,000 participants in 2016 (an increase of around 50% on the 2015 total), and that figure is expected to rise once again in 2017 as new and innovative concepts continue to be brought in. They invested over £1m in Blackburn with Darwen and the surrounding area last year, which puts our investment in our locality well above the competition average, given that the EFL Trust and its 72 charitable organisations connected to member clubs collectively invest around £50m into the country on an annual basis.
For more information on the regular work undertaken by Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, visit www.brfctrust.co.uk.