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Club staff, players, and Haydon make a difference in local community

Extending club link with children in Mitcham

17 March 2020

An AFC Wimbledon visit to Haslemere Primary School made it a day to remember for local children with our mascot Haydon the Womble proving to be very popular!

As part of the EFL Day of Action, the club extended its link with an area in Mitcham that benefited last summer from our Active Womble programme at Phipps Bridge Youth Centre. After coordinating a hugely successful project, our Foundation was nominated for the Community Project of The Year at the London Football awards.

Last week offered an opportunity to keep up the good work and young Dons Jack Madelin and Elliott Bolton participated in dance classes and enjoyed a kickabout with children from Haslemere. Fabienne Bonnaire, a teacher at Bonnaire Arts Education & Training, was certainly impressed with the dance moves shown by our Haydon!

“Haydon was doing his best wiggle and I had not seen anything like it! The kids loved it and it was all good fun!”

You may have seen clips of all the fun at Haslemere last week on our social media channels, but below is a video with more about the event, including interviews.

Fab added that AFC Wimbledon’s involvement in the local community has made a big difference.

“I had found previously that there was not really a lot going on in the community,” she said. “I know that South Mitcham Community Centre also put something on in the summer, which I’m involved in as well, but hosting something like this with AFC Wimbledon has been amazing with the amount of kids that have been brought in from the community. They didn’t have much going on, but now there’s so much for them, and these are things that they look forward to. They are saying, ‘Is this going to be every day?!’ It’s amazing to work with so many kids that have that drive. They are finding things that they never knew they would be so interested in.”

AFC Wimbledon Foundation Coach Andy May said: “To mark EFL Day of Action, we put on a programme that involved children participating in dance classes, alongside Haydon and a couple of our young players. Fab spent a lot of time with us at Phipps Bridge and we got her back in to deliver this fun activity again. The children also played a bit of football too. Haydon has been very popular! That’s pleasing because it helps to spread the word about our club - the fact that primary school children know who Haydon is.

“We came out to Haslemere Primary School, which is a local school to Phipps Bridge Youth Centre. As many supporters will be aware, we ran an Active Womble programme last summer, based at the youth centre. This involved providing lunches for those school children during the holidays and giving them the opportunity to play sport free of charge.”

Jack Madelin said: “We were thrown straight into action, doing a bit of dancing. We didn’t really expect that as we thought we would just be playing footy! It was good to have a bit of fun with the kids. We love doing this stuff, especially around Wimbledon, close to where the new stadium is going to be. It’s nice to get out in the community.”

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