Hats off to Govia Thameslink for supporting next generation of Luton Town Football Club talent!

Budding young footballers have a great future thanks to LTFC and GTR
Budding young footballers have a great future thanks to LTFC and GTR

22 lucky teenagers have scored free travel to support their sports development with Luton Town Football Club thanks to train operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR).

This is now the 12th year of partnership between Luton Town FC and GTR supporting the club’s youth development programme.

It has helped hundreds of youngsters gain skills and confidence through sport while studying for a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport or A-levels at local schools and colleges.

The 22 youngsters, aged 16 to 19, come from across the operator's network and would struggle to afford the travel needed to get to training with the Luton Town FC Football Programme at Cedars Upper School in Leighton Buzzard and The Arena in Baldock.

While a few of the teenagers are Luton based, others travel from Bedford, Flitwick, Harpenden, St Albans, Enfield, Hackney, Stoke Newington and Loughton.

Dale Brunton, head of education at the Hatters' Academy, said: “We are really proud of the development opportunities we are able to give the youngsters, but that is only made possible with GTR’s help. These teenagers come from a variety of backgrounds and situations and could not afford to be with us without the travel passes.

"All the people involved in this scheme, both staff and students, are very appreciative of the help GTR give us.”

Tom Moran, managing director of GTR, added: "Hats off to Luton Town for what they achieve with their youth development programme – I’m really pleased we are able to help so many teenagers continue their education and have the opportunity to transform their lives.

"We work a lot with youngsters, including organising 'Get into Railways' programme with The Prince's Trust charity, which helps up to 60 disadvantaged individuals every year, and have given safety talks to 18,000 children at schools along our Thameslink and Great Northern routes.

"All this work helps us make a difference to people's lives and I wish this group of footballers the best for the coming year!"