Players go back to school

Westwood, Catts, Kilgallon and Ji return to class.

Sunderland AFC stars are lining up to witness first-hand the impact Foundation of Light programmes are having in schools across the region.

Black Cats captain Lee Cattermole and defender Matt Kilgallon recently took part in a football coaching session delivered by the Foundation of Light’s Football Development team before being quizzed by pupils at Seaview Primary School in Seaham.

The Foundation of Light offers a wide range of sports coaching programmes that run before school, in-school, after school, on evenings and weekends and during the school holidays.

The charity has a highly developed Player Pathway to ensure youngsters get the most out of sport whatever their ability, from those who just want to have fun to gifted and talented players who can be referred to SAFC’s Academy.

Then, goalkeeper Kieren Westwood and forward Ji Dong-Won joined more than 40 pupils at Castletown Primary in Sunderland in a session designed to educate youngsters about healthy lifestyles through physical activity.

The duo took part in games developed by the Foundation of Light’s Tackle It team which improve youngsters’ team-work and coordination skills before taking time out for a question and answer session.

The Foundation of Light’s Tackle It range of programmes cover a wide range of subjects, including racism, bullying, self-respect, substance misuse and health issues.

“It was great fun,” said Westwood. “Ji and I really enjoyed interacting with the youngsters and joining in the games.

“The kids were really enthusiastic in learning about the issues covered in the Tackle It session and we were delighted to be invited to come along and take part.”

The Foundation of Light delivers a wide range of sports and education programmes for schools across the North East, and education sessions are ran in specially designed classrooms at the Stadium of Light. 

By using the power of football, the organisation brings subjects to life for pupils helping improve attitudes, and increase enthusiasm and motivation within the classroom through courses that can be specifically tailored to a group’s needs and tie-in with the National Curriculum.