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Monday 23 January 2012

Liverpool stars support Premier League 4 Sport

Reds defenders Seb Coates and Jose Enrique get involved in PL4S initiative

Jose, Sebastian and Vicky play table tennis against kids from Shorefields Community College

Liverpool stars Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates went back to school as they took part in some fantastic LFC community initiatives, including a Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S) event.

The defenders, who were joined by Liverpool FC Ladies skipper Vicky Jones, visited St. Silas Primary School in Toxteth for the LFC Equality 4 All Scheme, and then Shorefields Community College in Dingle Vale for the LFC PL4S event.

One of the highlights of the day was Spaniard Enrique, Uruguayan Coates and Jones taking part in a Q&A session with the kids in Spanish. A Spanish teacher was present as the Barclays Premier League pair were quizzed on their LFC careers so far.

The 11-year-olds at St. Silas Primary also took part in a football session under the watchful eye of Enrique and Coates.

"To have Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates come down was absolutely brilliant"
- LFC's Rishi Jain

Liverpool FC Social Inclusion Officer, Rishi Jain, said: "To have Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates come down, meet the kids, join in a session and answer their questions was absolutely brilliant.

"It was really good for both of the players to take part in the Q&A session in Spanish. The school do a lot of work on different languages to reward the kids this way, so to help them practice their Spanish was an absolute pleasure for the club.

"The LFC Equality 4 All Project continues to go from strength to strength. We do 18 hours coaching a week with kids from different areas and ethnic minorities and bring them all together through football."

At Shorefields Community College, Enrique and Coates demonstrated their table tennis skills when they took part in the LFC PL4S event, alongside 15 children aged 11-13.

The PL4S scheme aims to introduce four different Olympic sports to youngsters in the region - volleyball, judo, table tennis and badminton.

The pioneering initiative hopes to curb the drop-off in young people's participation in sports after leaving secondary school, as well as offering five hours of activities to youngsters as part of the government's 2012 legacy plans.

Since the programme began in 2009 it has provided 39,327 youngsters across the country with an opportunity to sample four new sports and contributed 25% of the overall increase in participation in those sports.

PL4S is a joint venture between the Premier League, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust. It was funded by a £3.8m investment through the Premier League Creating Chances programme in partnership with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The initiative has provided a blueprint for the idea of turning secondary schools into community sports clubs. Such has been its success that an additional £2m of funding from the Premier League will double the number of Olympic sports PL4S works with.

PL4S sees Premier League clubs acting as hubs linked to community sports clubs and facilities, which in turn are connected to local secondary schools to create satellite sports centres. Each of the 20 clubs involved has a dedicated PL4S coordinator working locally with the sports clubs and schools to maximise opportunities for young people.

Using the power of football to attract young people, the aim is for PL4S to be providing a legacy long after the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

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Key Points

  • Enrique and Coates take part in PL4S initiative
  • Liverpool stars go back to school and to college
  • PL4S has been huge success since 2009 launch