A programme to help children learn the Polish language has been launched by the charitable arm of Yeovil Town Football Club.
Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust in partnership with the Phoenix School of Languages in Yeovil, will run their Soccerlinguistics programme which will teach primary school pupil’s phrases in the language.
It has secured almost £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund for the initiative which aims to support community cohesion with local Polish communities.
The Glovers’ Polish-born goalkeeper Artur Krysiak, who is an ambassador for the programme, said it would deliver huge benefits to all parts of the local community. The 27-year-old moved to England in 2006 from Lodz, Poland’s third-largest city.
He said: “There is a growing Polish community in Somerset and the more we can do to help integrate all parts of our community together the better.
“The Trust is using the power of football to bring about real change and by learning some of the Polish language, the young people taking part in Soccerlinguistics will get a better understanding of the Polish culture and develop their language and football skills.
“I am thoroughly supportive of this programme and look forward to seeing many young people getting involved in its work.”
Soccerlinguistics is themed around a football match and offers a 90-minute language programme split in to two halves.
During the sessions, pupils will develop their skills using Yeovil Town themed work books, interactive activities and videos, before moving on to the football pitch to use the words and phrases they have learnt within the classroom.
Sara Bradley, manager of the Trust, said this programme built on similar programmes they have delivered within the community which have taught children skills in French, Spanish and Italian.
She said: “Polish is now the most common non-UK ethnicity in Somerset and accounts for 1% of the county’s population, so we recognise the importance of fostering cohesion amongst all parts of our community.
“By learning a few simple words and phrases, we hope the young people who take part in our programme will be able to speak with Polish-born members of the community.”
Wyke Primary School in Gillingham, Dorset, Preston Primary in Yeovil and Combe St Nicholas Primary School in Chard are the first schools in the area to sign up for the programme which gets underway this week.