England and Arsenal player kick starts Neasden school’s Olympic preparations

Rachel Yankey MBE, popped into Mitchell Brook Primary School in Bridge Road

Pupils in Neasden kicked off their Olympic preparations with a special visit from a professional footballer.

England and Arsenal ladies star Rachel Yankey MBE, popped into Mitchell Brook Primary School in Bridge Road, to celebrate with pupils on their annual sports day, which was given an Olympic twist.

Pupils held flags of the world aloft before taking part in a torch relay with the England star around the school grounds.

The event, also tied in with the launch of a new scheme aimed at encouraging youngsters to participate in football.

Two young people who sign up to Harlesden’s Gibbon Wreckers Youth Football Club during its summer play scheme will be given a one year free membership.

Speaking about the scheme Ms Yankey, who grew up in Queens Park, said: “These scholarships are for young people who have impressed us, not just in football but with their attitude.

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“While growing up in Brent I never went to any soccer schools. Our scheme provides a community for kids who are bored or who are caught up in postcode wars.

“You may not be the best footballer, but it will teach you life skills that you won’t forget.”

Adrian Kelly, extended schools co-ordinator, who helped organise the event, on Thursday, July 5, said: “It was a great day and the pupils were really excited to meet her and she gave a talk about how to achieve your dream.

“Everyone really embraced the spirit of the Olympics and it was great to have such a recognised name there too.”

Gibbons Wreckers is based at the Unity Centre in Church Road, Harlesden and was set up by Ms Yankey.

The summer scheme starts later this month, to sign up or to find out more information go to: www.gibbonwreckers.co.uk.