Posted on February 12th 2020
Crystal Palace Legend Wilfred Zaha Inspires Student Presentations
Crystal Palace footballers Wilfried Zaha and Leeta Rutherford (pictured centre) visited Harris City Academy Crystal Palace recently to listen to presentations from pupils on social issues.
Students had created the presentations on issues such as homelessness and mental health as part of the Premier League Inspires programme and were delighted to have the chance to present to the footballers.
One of the pupils, Max, presented his project on ways of tackling homelessness in Croydon and was very excited to meet his idol, Zaha: “I’ve enjoyed this very much, it’s such a great opportunity to meet Wilfried, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s crazy, he’s so local and it’s shown me that he’s just one of us!”
Zaha, who went to school locally, said: “I’m glad to be able to get involved. When I was growing up we didn’t have these programmes covering so many different things so I’m happy the club is pushing to make a change in my community and trying to make a difference; it’s great to see.”
Following the visit, one group of students will now be selected to represent the school in front of a judging panel at Selhurst Park, competing alongside other local schools for the chance to represent Crystal Palace in a national enterprise competition.
Palace for Life Foundation Community Development Officer James Harrison-Sears, who attended Harris City Academy when he was younger, said: “Being part of Crystal Palace really helps us to engage with young people in the area and get them interested in joining the programmes we run.
“The main thing for me is encouraging them to have a plan and think about what they’re going to do next in life, I know I didn’t have that when I was younger, so if we can help instil that in them and give them some direction, then what’s we’re here to do.”
Pictures and story courtesy of Crystal Palace FC.