Playing A Role In Everyday Lives

During this period the Trust became a registered charity and became known by its current name of the Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust.  Its core role was defined as being “to enable the football club to harness the positive power of the club and football to improve the quality of life for everyone who participates in Trust activities”.

The Learning Centre was growing fast in terms of the numbers of programmes being offered, students being welcomed, and awards being achieved for quality in study support.  Its national recognition was such that it even received a visit from Tony Blair, the Prime Minister.
The Trust was by now also involved with partner organisation in projects delivering positive messages on healthy living as well as encouraging socially acceptable behaviour.

watford trust

Trivia Time

In which year did the Trust become a registered charity?

  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2006

Highlights of the era

The Learning Centre provided learning opportunities to 9,000 students aged from 5 to 75 during the 2002-03 season.

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The Learning Centre had opened in 2000, initially in the East Stand at Vicarage Road, to provide opportunities for less academically-inclined children to achieve their potential.  It was part of a government scheme, Playing for Success, which established similar centres around the country using sport as a motivational tool for raising literacy, numeracy and ICT standards among 7-14 year-olds who were struggling academically.

The Trust’s educational support initiatives continued with the launch of the BEST project.  BEST stood for Bringing Education and Sport Together, and consisted of Watford-themed classroom lessons on health and nutrition, with associated sports activities indoors or outdoors.  After a trial, this was sponsored for three years by the Watford Supporters Trust, and then picked up for a national roll-out by the Football League Trust under the title ‘Move and Learn’ and with sponsorship from Ferrero-Rocher. 

Watford FC’s Community Sports & Education Trust becomes a registered charity (reg. charity no. 1102239) in 2004.

The “Learning Bus” is launched at London Colney training ground by Luca Vialli.

The second Learning Centre is opened in 2003.

Participation numbers on Trust activities grew to 85,000 in 2004, with over 30 schools and organisations receiving practical assistance every week.

The Trust is voted as “Best Community Sports Project” and “Best Overall Grassroots Scheme” at the 2006 Sportsmatch Annual Awards. The Learning Centre is awarded “Established” status.

watford trust

The BEST health programme is one of the best local programmes that we have known. It has now gone national!

Gordon TaylorProfessional Footballers’ Association

Share Your Memories

Did you meet Tony Blair when he visited the Learning Centre?  Did you meet some of the Watford players who supported the learning programmes?

Did you experience one of the adult programmes at the Learning Centre? Do you have any memories or photos to share?

If so, please share them and we will post the best ones on this site.

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