Citroën, the official car supplier to Arsenal Football Club, has introduced an advanced driver-training programme to teach the North London Club’s young reserve team players valuable on-the-road awareness and driving skills.
Statistically, 17-24 year old males make up just 9% of the driving population, but represent almost 25% of all crashes that cause death or injury* on UK roads.
Under the programme banner “How To Take Corners”, Citroën joined forces with Neil Banfield, Arsenal’s Reserve Team Coach and the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM Drive & Survive), to develop a driving programme that would increase player safety behind the wheel.
“The players will spend a vast amount of time preparing for training and matches, and by working with Citroën we wanted to ensure that they make similar preparations when they get behind the wheel of a car”, explained Banfield.
Reserve team players, including Craig Eastmond, Emmanuel Frimpong and Wojciech Szczesny completed an IAM Drive & Survive online risk assessment, e-learning course, attended a driver awareness seminar and took part in on-the-road driver training in the brand new Citroën DS3.
Banfield continued, “While it is our job to best prepare the players for the football pitch, it is also of paramount importance to develop skills off the field. As part of the players’ education here, they will learn a variety of life skills, but this is the first time we have educated them on the rules of the road, and we hope to integrate this into the programme on a regular basis.”
Arsène Wenger comments, “As a club we invest a lot of time in to the education of our players. We can help shape these young players’ careers, and continuing their development off the pitch is equally important to us. We’re grateful for the time Citroën have spent getting behind this project and know the players will benefit.”
Arsenal footballer, Craig Eastmond, comments on his driver training, “I’ve learnt so much from the lessons, but the most important thing is to be aware of other drivers and ensure they are aware of you. I’m going to take everything on board and hope to pass on advice to others. For example, when turning right you should move to the left so you can get a better view of the road you are turning into.”
Marc Raven, Citroën Communications Director, comments, “The reserve team are the future of Arsenal Football Club and Citroën is proud to be able to work with Neil and the team to increase the safety of its players. We hope that the driving programme has helped focus their minds on the dangers of the road, reducing the chances of the squad becoming part of this worrying statistic.”