Braintree Town Football Club’s Community Iron project is celebrating a “huge feather in its cap” after being selected by the Premier League to join an elite group offering to boost sporting involvement among young schoolchildren.

The good work they already do in leading sports activities around the district was recognised as Community Iron were targeted to be part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme and academy manager Mark Sansom is delighted to be involved.

It means Braintree are one of just ten clubs outside the Football League to be selected and they are already making a mark within schools around Braintree.

Mr Sansom said: “The programme applies to Premier League and professional clubs across the country and we are one of just ten who have been selected from clubs outside the Football League.

“It was the Premier League Primary Stars who approached us and asked for us to put in an application to show how we could deliver it and we were delighted when we got accepted.

“It’s an amazing thing for us. It’s one thing to be asked to put in a bid, but another entirely to be accepted by the Premier League to deliver it.

It is a huge feather in our cap and one that we are very proud of.”

The Premier League Primary Stars uses the appeal of the Premier League and semi-professional football clubs like Braintree Town to inspire girls and boys between the ages of five and 11 to be active and develop life skills.

Coaching staff from the Community Iron and also students from the Braintree Town Academy will be working with teachers in local schools to deliver fun, educational sessions in a range of subjects and Sansom is keen to get more schools on board.

He said: “We are hoping to get Community Iron coaches and Braintree Town Academy students into as many primary schools as we can. Officially, the Premier League Primary Stars want you to be working with five schools by the end of year one - we already have six.

“So we are well on track, but we want to get out there to more schools.

“We can go beyond the Braintree district but we want to target as many schools as we can in the district.

“From our point of view, the amount of schools in the district means we don’t have to look beyond that any time soon.

“There is a vast number of schools who we would like to be working with.

“Any schools who are interested just need to make contact with us.”

Community Iron can be contacted at by any schools looking to get involved.