Teens curl it like Cazorla with physics at Arsenal’s new hub
PUBLISHED: 08:30 25 May 2015
Arsenal use science to teach football-loving youngsters how to bend it with their brains
Scientists have been teaching youngsters the physics behind the skills of Arsenal’s top players at a new community hub.
The Gunners have teamed up with the Institute of Physics to school youngsters from across London in the science of how a football moves through the air.
The eight week pilot is the newest addition to Arsenal in the Community’s game of two halves programme, which sees children undertake a 45-minute classroom session before heading to the training pitch to learn how to kick a ball further, put effective force behind a tackle and use their body for balance and stability.
But on Friday last week the course culminated in a visit to Arsenal’s new 4G pitch at The Emirates Hub to perfect the practice of spinning and curling the ball.
Nilfour Wijetunge, a teacher with the Institute of Physics, said: “A lot of these kids are really into football but not very engaged in science. They just think of it as equations.
“But what we’ve been able to do here with Arsenal is a really good way of getting them involved with something they wouldn’t usually think they would be interested in.”
To learn how forces act on the ball, the children first had a classroom lesson, making a model out of two polystyrene cups and then flinging it through the air using a sling.
They then took to the pitch and applied spin to the ball to curl it around obstacles to one and other and then into the goal, before playing a small-sided match.
Jack McNicholl, education officer for Arsenal in the Community, said: “This is one of a number of education projects we’re running where we use football as the engaging factor.
“There are so many parallels between science and football and it’s been really interesting. We’re hoping to use the partnership with the Institute of Physics to bring schools from all over Islington in to the hub.”
Remario Dale, 14, who attends William Ellis School in Camden, said: “We learned how the ball moves through the air by making a model from cups and seeing how they spun.
“I got two curling shots off in the game but the goalkeeper saved them both.”