Bewbush Academy students celebrated a school football kit reveal last week after a creative collaboration with students and graphic designer Gary Pleece.
Pleece and his community interest company VYD (Value Your Development) have been working in local schools in order to help get students creatively active in their education.
They recently visited the Bewbush Academy to engage with year six students to design a brand new kit for the school football team; with the aim of presenting community values and identity. Pleece, who also designed the Crawley Town FC club badge, talked about the initiative:
‘The programme is called Zona and we work with various age ranges to design an identity on a football kit, a badge identity and story around that badge.
We give them a blank canvas so they can go crazy with the kit, but usually you want it to have relevance to who they’re playing for.
We encourage sloganeering, but rather than a corporate Emirates or a gambling company, we put a motivational statement that’s going to motivate the team.’
Crucially, the idea has helped to get students involved as part of a community value set together, rather than just those that enjoy football. This inclusive community spirit and value set is seen emblazoned on the shirt as the Foundation’s Premier League Primary Stars Coordinator Liam Joyce explained:
‘The project was for pupils who didn’t have any interest in, or like, football.
The group studied the badge and made a story behind it and incorporated the schools’ symbols and values especially with the slogan “Respect All, Fear None” the bespoke rainbow pattern on the shirt and shorts symbolising the Bewbush ‘five’ values [be polite, bring a positive attitude, try our best, take pride in the school, make the right choices].’
As football fans, or not, the school team did the Bewbush Academy proud as they got into the semi-final of the District Cup, too. The team took the kit and the values on it when they played in a penalty shootout. The school’s ethos was brought to the fore as they faced a penalty shootout with Assistant Head David Leake insisting the team respect those that both did and didn’t wish to take a penalty. Success showing that winning isn’t necessarily the end goal but teamwork, positivity and attitude.
The designers of the kit at the Bewbush Academy are have since moved on to respective secondary schools this term but have left their mark on their school as Joyce told us:
‘They are inspiring and empowering the future of tomorrow by imagination and creation - with a touch of football. They have left a legacy for the generations to wear and be proud to play and represent that badge on the shirt and shows inclusion even when they are not there!’
What a start!
VYD are based in Brighton and do social projects around Sussex - more information can be found at www.vydcic.org