Saturday, 16 June 2012

What's Happening On The Community Front - Part 1

With the ever-popular What's Happening At Kingsmeadow? newsletter making a welcome comeback over the last few days I thought it might be quite informative to have something similar on the community side. A heady mix of ideas, plans and good intentions that are all bubbling on the back burner and some of which at least I hope might emerge as fully-fledged community projects, be they of educational, developmental or charitable in nature. Suffice to say that there's never enough time available to do everything at once and some projects I've had to shelve until next year due to unfortunate or unforeseen circumstances!

First off though an event that I hope will become a regular item on the calender, that takes place in Wimbledon and that will allow us both to make contacts within the local business community and to help raise funds for worthy children's charities. I'm talking about the annual 

Chariots of Fur Mascot Triathlon

(Wimbledon Common Stables Open Day Sunday September 9th 2012)
We had our first ever Wimbledon Common mascot race last year over straw bale hurdles and it was a great success with the children, despite the unwanted attention of the rain. The tug'o'war was particularly memorable and, for what was in essence an event set up as a trial at short notice, the whole day was great fun. This time round we are looking at expanding our presence by running a triathlon consisting of three complementary events - an accuracy test using lawn darts, a strength test with a bean bag toss and the grand finale featuring the (slightly) cross country obstacle race. Overall points winner gets to lift the WUP Cup!
We are hoping to raise £1,000 for the Children's Liver Disease Foundation through mascot sponsorship by local businesses, a model we used at the recent Jubilee mascot race and that takes the burden of fundraising off of the mascots themselves. Down below you can see my effort at a flyer for interested mascots. It should be fun and we've lots of time this time round to make sure it's as big an event as possible!

Morden Hall Park January 2012 Exhibition - Youtube update

You might recall we held an exhibition of the Flying the Flag for Haydon Community Arts Project in the new Stables Block in January of this year. One of the elements was to create a slide show of images to tell the story of the project that would play on a loop and accompany the flags and drawings. I came across it the other day and it seemed a shame not to make use of it again so I've uploaded it to Youtube for your viewing delight. If the music grates after a while you can always turn it off...

AFC Wimbledon's Stadium School - update

The cover of the children's feedback folder
We recently ran a trial Stadium School at the ground in co-operation with Wimbledon Chase Primary School. This was a special session to encourage the pupils to use mathematics but in the surrounds and the context of AFC Wimbledon. This seems to have been a big hit and I'm keen that we look at providing a timetable of slots available to other schools. This will be one of my key objectives for the coming season.  Having such positive feedback is a great encouragement and I hope we can develop this in other areas of the curriculum as well, not just the maths. The Teachers who were on the trip also had some useful points and it was very game of them to have a go at one of my feedback forms as well!

The Teachers feedback - No red lines luckily...

 Walking Football - Bury FC

I'm keen that we look at ways of developing community activities for our older supporters, not just the youngsters. I had been wondering if a Fat, Fifty and Unfit football sessions for those of us less blessed with footballing skills might have been a possibility, but I certainly hadn't taken the idea as far as Bury FC. They were featured in a BBC News article that's worth a look and worth considering for our own supporters and community The link is and it's well worth a look.

The AFC Spelling Bee (in conjunction with Merton Libraries)

I was recently involved as a researcher for a spelling bee held by the American ex-pat community in Karlsruhe, Germany and in association with the American Library in Karlsruhe. It's a long story.... However I was impressed at the response of the community to the initiative and with the engagement between local libraries and schools.With spelling back on the agenda and with 160 different languages being spoken in Merton's schools there seemed ample opportunity for the club to help with keystage literacy targets. When Merton libraries said they would be interested in working with the club in some way this seemed the ideal format - by giving the bee a footballing edge by the inclusion of words such as trophy, referee, promotion etc. to assisting with joint school visits and mini-bees and providing exciting prizes, an AFC Wimbledon/ Merton Libraries spelling bee with regional heats and a final held in the Council Chamber could be fun and educational too! More meetings are scheduled to look at progressing that one...
It won't be quite as full on as Akeelah and the bee though

The 'Wall of Wombles' Art Project (also in conjunction with Merton Libraries)

Fine Wombles such as this
Looking more at the summer project end of the spectrum we are also looking at how we can link in with Merton Libraries holiday programme. The current thoughts are to have a Haydon the Womble painting project where visitors to the libraries are encouraged to paint their very own womble. We'll take the wombles, frame them to set up a gallery exhibition. That should be fun enough but we thought we could also scale up the paintings to create a long banner, a colourful 'Wall of Wombles' to grace one of our early games. We'd arrange a couple of weekend sessions at the library for the actual painting and possibly tie-in some reading sessions on a football theme. This should be fairly straightforward to arrange and I hope this one can be set up reasonably quickly.

What next?? Well, on a similar theme but specifically to encourage Junior Dons and other supporters to have a go at making their own flags I thought we could have a

Kingsmeadow Flag Workshop 

 The back bar would be a great place to convert into a flag workshop. Junior Dons and others could have a go at bringing their designs along and our supply of canvas and paint, driers, projectors and various other paraphernalia would mean that they could indulge in their wildest flag fantasies. This would be a Sunday session and hopefully over the pre-season period so they would be ready for the new season

That's pretty much the main items floating on the top of the project board at the moment. There are several other possible projects on the go, but if I went through those as well I wouldn't have anything for Part 2, so that should do for now.

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