Why Southampton teach players to cook, clean and iron

What does Southampton’s life skills programme involve?
We have a pretty rigorous life skills programme for full-time scholars between the age of 16-18. They do workshops from cooking, ironing, washing, sewing. At 18 they move out of a host family environment. If they’re lucky enough to get a professional contract we encourage them to move into an apartment, learn how to wash their clothes, use a washing machine, cook for themselves, look after themselves. You’d be amazed how many can’t do that. 

Why is it important for youngsters to learn life skills?
Part of our duty is that by the time they move out of their host family, they’re equipped to look after themselves. They have self-discipline. They’ll also do courses on financial management, alcohol and drug addiction, there’s a whole range of topics over a two to three-year period. It doesn’t stop at under-21 age either. There are also car maintenance courses, which are available to players of any age. 

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