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AJ GOES BACK TO SCHOOL

PUBLISHED

11:00 21st March 2013

by @OfficialQPR

R's striker makes the grade at Chelsea Academy ...

QUEENS PARK RANGERS were the talk of the classroom recently when Andrew Johnson went back to school with QPR in the Community Trust. 

The R's frontman made the short trip across west London to join Trust staff overseeing coaching sessions at Chelsea Academy school.

As well as posing for photographs and signing autographs for fans, 'AJ' enjoyed a few games of table tennis as he took time out of his training regime to meet students and teachers along a guided tour of the school.

“It’s always a nice thing to do, to see some of the kids and how they’re getting on at school and look over a couple of coaching sessions,” Johnson told www.qpr.co.uk.

“It’s great for the kids to see their local players coming down and it’s great for us to be part of it.”

Johnson is on the road to recovery after injury curtailed his season, unable to aid the R's survival bid since being sidelined in September.

As the fight to beat the drop intensifies, the 32-year-old insists support from the local community is now more important than ever and hopes his presence can help inspire the next generation of Super Hoops.

“It would be great to see more kids down at Loftus Road,” he added. 

“We need all the support we can get so it’s really important we give something back as well.

“It’s great to come down here, see the kids and if I can be a hand in some way by answering a few questions and signing a few autographs then that is great.”

The Trust deliver a weekly session at Chelsea Academy, one of several secondary schools from the borough of Kensington & Chelsea competing in the QPR Schools League.

Daniel Edwards, Schools Football Development Manager - who helped set up the league in 2010 - knows Johnson's visit will only aid the work the Trust do.

“The children get 90 minutes of football each week and what better way to get 90 minutes than with a professional footballer,” he said.

“Andrew’s come down and met a lot of the students, including ones that aren’t on the course. It all helps getting the students to feel part of the club.

“It’s very well us using the badge but when they get to meet the players, play at Loftus Road, come to the stadium and have a tour, they feel much more part of the club.”

QPR in the Community Trust works with members of the local community aged 4-90, reaching over half a million children across west London boroughs since its inception in 1994.

“The Trust has grown so much over the years; now we’re doing social inclusion, education and disability," Edwards added.

"Rather than seeing QPR as just a football club, there’s a whole other side to it.”

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