Date of release: Friday, July 4, 2014

CharltonUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor David Maguire was on the ball as he scored a spot-kick during a launch event to celebrate Greenwich’s new partnership with Charlton Athletic Football Club.

The event at the club’s Sparrows Lane training ground saw the unveiling of the new Charlton home and away kits for the coming season, bearing the University of Greenwich name. The kit launch featured a penalty shoot-out competition, with university staff and students among those taking on the professionals.

The Vice-Chancellor calmly put his penalty past Charlton keeper Dimitar Mitov – although the pros finally beat the club sponsors 8-7 in a close-fought contest.

The university has embarked on a long-term, strategic partnership with the club and with Charlton Athletic Community Trust. As well as being the club’s main shirt sponsors for the next two seasons, Greenwich will also work with Charlton in areas of education and research, employability, and community engagement and outreach.

Professor Maguire says the partnership is an exciting venture. “Both institutions have long-standing commitments to serving our local community, and it makes a great deal of sense for us to come together and work in partnership, combining resources to work more closely with, for instance, schools, hospitals and community groups,” he says.

“Sport also plays a really important role at the university. We run degree programmes in sports science and sports psychology, and we train PE teachers, so there is plenty of scope here to enrich our teaching and research, and for both sides to learn from each other’s expertise.”

Charlton Athletic and the Community Trust will also offer a range of initiatives to boost students’ employment opportunities, such as work placements, support for final-year projects and talks and lectures by senior Charlton staff.

“We are delighted we have entered this new partnership, which will be to the benefit of all. We have exciting times ahead,” Professor Maguire adds.

During the launch event the new kits were modelled by the entire Charlton first-team squad. A gathering of national and local media, including Sky Sports News and BBC South-East Today, also turned out to record interviews with players and sponsors.

Those attending the event from Greenwich included Professor Paul Ward, Head of the university’s Centre for Sports Science & Human Performance; Lucie Pollard, Faculty Operating Officer for Education & Health; and Kelly Cooper, Senior Sports Science Technician, a footballer who has represented Charlton’s women’s first team.

The Club’s Chief Commercial Officer, Ben Kensell, also believes the partnership will create many mutual benefits. “I’m thrilled that two of the Royal Borough’s most influential organisations will be working closely together. We share a vision in terms of the opportunities we can offer in sports, education and in the community, and there could not be a better institution for us to call our partner.”

Picture: Professor David Maguire, Vice-Chancellor, with Charlton keeper Nick Pope and new signing Igor Vetokele

Story by Public Relations