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Last Updated: Friday, 18 March, 2005, 17:14 GMT
Charlton host Tackling Skills launch
Charlton manager Alan Curbishly welcomes the Tackling Skills participants to The Valley

Tackling Skills had its official launch at Charlton Athletic's ground, with BBC Sport's Mark Bright and Sports Minister Richard Caborn in attendance.

Two of the young people involved in the project give their accounts below.

Aaron Wall - Gateway Foyer

Tackling Skills was officially launched at Charlton Athletic FC by BBC Sport's Mark Bright. The project aims to help young people develop their literacy and communication skills by using sport to inspire, motivate and re-engage them.

Foyer residents from all over Britain attended, including some from Liverpool, Bradford and Portsmouth. The participants who are on Tackling Skills got to ask questions to Mark Bright, Jane Slowey (Chief Executive of The Foyer Federation), Dennis Rommedahl (Charlton player), ZoŽ Millet (a BBC mentor) and Alistair Bennett (Director of the Football Foundation).

Charlton striker Dennis Rommedahl (c) with Luke Grant (l) and Aaron Wall (r)

Myself and Luke Grant from the Portsmouth Foyer interviewed Dennis Rommedahl. We then had photos taken by the press. I had a few more interviews to do for the local paper and for Tackling Skills.

It was a great and it gave me and my fellow Tackling Skills participants a taste of what it's like being in a press conference environment. I would like to thank Jo Tongue for making this all possible and Charlton FC for allowing us access to their facilities.

Dwayne Campbell, Foyer@Croydon

Mark Bright and members of the Football Foundation were at the launch of the Tackling Skills programme. Young people are taught journalism skills by working BBC journalists, and they receive intensive theoretical and practical training including technical, editorial, written and production skills.

The young people also accompany journalists and participate in interviews, press conferences and write a match report for BBC Sport Interactive. BBC Sport staff support many community projects such as Tackling Skills which offer young people the opportunity to gain work experience and increase their understanding of the media.

Andrew Lewington (l) and Billy Leather (r) meet BBC Sport's Mark Bright
It is also a great opportunity for BBC Sport staff to meet people who watch and listen to the BBC's outputs to share their passion and enthusiasm for sport and listen to what audiences have to say about what the BBC does.

BBC Sports' Mark Bright said: "it's great that the BBC is going out into the community and working with vulnerable young people on a personal level. I love talking about football with these groups and if we can use sport and the media as an educational tool then even better".

Links to more Tackling Skills stories


Interview: Jeff Needham talks to Arjan De Zeeuw

Interview: James Clarke talks to David Unsworth


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