Six months after the incredible success of the LFC - Standard Chartered Football Clinic in Kenya, the club's main sponsor today kicked off the first of a dedicated programme of community-driven coaching events for 2011.
Hosted within the former David Beckham Football Academy in East London, 100 young children, aged between 8 and 14, were invited by Standard Chartered to attend the first day of a weekend football clinic with Liverpool FC's award-winning Community Coaches putting the kids through their paces and teaching them the basics of the 'Liverpool way'.
While further clinics are scheduled to take place later this year in Seoul, Mumbai and Dubai, today's event, situated just a few miles from the financial epicentre of the City, was all about reaching out to the community living on the doorstep of Standard Chartered's UK headquarters.
"This is a great opportunity to bring the spirit of Liverpool Football Club and our sponsorship to a group of kids, some of whom would have absolutely no chance of experiencing something like this," Christiana Marran, Standard Chartered's Regional Head of Corporate Affairs, told Liverpoolfc.tv. "It's at the very core of the way we do business to give something back to the community.
"The 100 young footballers here today are a mixture of the kids of our clients, who were absolutely thrilled to come down and get the experience of being coached by Liverpool FC's Community Coaches and children from East London, many from disadvantaged communities that we've selected through their schools and also some girls from the Marion Richardson School in Stepney who we partner with.
"Standard Chartered does most of it's business in Asia, Africa and the Middle East but our headquarters are in the UK and we have our offices in the City, so we wanted to do something that gave back to the East London community as well.
"The third group of kids that we have here today are some children of our staff, who entered a competition to tell us why they loved Liverpool FC so much. They submitted some brilliant entries and it's nice for the staff to see their kids able to come here and experience what it's like to be coached by Liverpool Football Club."
As was the case at the pilot LFC - Standard Chartered Football Clinic in Kenya back in August, the bank are using football as the hook to deliver an even more important life skill message but while it was about teaching kids about HIV in Nairobi, here, it's about managing your money.
And while a financial literacy class may not sound like every kid's idea of the best way to spend an hour on a Saturday, it's a credit to Standard Chartered and the drama company employed to deliver the message, that the kids spend as much time laughing and having fun as they do learning.
"Obviously as a bank, one of the ways we can give back to the community is to help the kids who may not have had the opportunity to be taught the basics of finance," explains Christiana. "Today's session was truly interactive and covered everything from saving your pocket money to making sure you can afford to buy things and looking after the things you need before the things you maybe want. We're in the depths of quite a severe recession so we think it's something that kids need to learn to manage their futures."
While the lesson is more than well intentioned, a quick chat to the boys and girls present and it's soon clear what the kids have enjoyed most about today.
"It's been brilliant," enthuses 9-year-old Liverpool supporter Max Yull, who's here with his Chelsea-supporting brother Dan. For Max, life can't get much better right now. Last Sunday at Stamford Bridge he led the team out alongside Steven Gerrard as the Liverpool mascot, saw the team pull off a fantastic win and six days later, he's here with a Liverpool t-shirt on and a ball at his feet. "They're really good," he says of the Community Coaches. "They're showing us new skills and tricks but they're funny as well. It's been wicked."
To see more pictures from day one of the LFC-Standard Chartered Football Clinic in London, click here>>