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Reds midfielder Adam Hammill officially opened the new Post-16 Education Classroom in the East Stand.
The winger, who has recently been named as our new Education Ambassador, and was on hand to officially open the new classroom, which has been planned by RITC’s Education department for months.
The room mimics being sat in the centre of Oakwell, complete with seats from the stadium spaced exactly the same distance apart as in the stands themselves.
Thirty people can be seated at any one time in the classroom.
The classroom was inspired by a visit to Portsmouth Football Club by RITC’s Education Officer Mark Crossfield and Kris Irwin of the PFA Union Learning Fund.
Mark said: “Portsmouth were showing off their new facilities they had developed in partnership with the PFA. We took inspiration for our new classroom from a classroom we saw at Portsmouth, called the corner stand classroom.
“It was set as if you were at the corner flag at Fratton Park, with vinyl wallpaper of the stands, astroturf flooring and seating in the corner.
“We wanted to create a classroom that made you feel like you were stood in the middle of Oakwell, with a full 360 degrees view of the stadium.”
Contributions from Club partners Palmer Construction and the Professional Footballers Association helped make the new classroom possible.
The PFA have put in nearly £3,000 to support the development of the classroom, with Palmer Construction also contributing £750 towards the building cost.
On unveiling the classroom, Hammill said: “Being able to open this classroom as Education ambassador is a huge honour for me.
“It’s futuristic, I think the kids will love the idea that they are sitting in the stand. I think it will help them want to learn a little more about the place.
“The layout is fantastic, it’s something different and is far from the normal, it makes for a completely different environment, you come in here and look around at the surroundings. It’s so much easier to focus on your learning.
“This is more appealing to me than a classroom. It’s great to be able to give back to the community through education in this way and I’m sure there’ll be plenty who would want to come and further their education in these surroundings.”
Following Hammill unveiling the classroom, Mark added: “Having Adam here to open the new East Stand classroom was fantastic, to see his face as he took in the room was really pleasing, and to see how positive Adam was about what we are doing here is even more pleasing.
“We are so thankful for both the PFA Learning Union and Palmer Construction for their kind donations which has enabled us to turn a uninspiring room into an innovative, inspiring place to learn.
“I’m sure our returning students and new students are going to enjoy using the new classroom as much as Adam did.”
The classroom will officially be in use from the start of the 2017/18 academic year for all students studying as part of our Post-16 educational programmes at Barnsley Football Club.
Our Post-16 education programme offers Level One, Two and Three courses in coaching, exercise and sport.
Interested in studying with the Reds? Find out more about the courses on offer HERE!