Wednesday 24 April 2013
Rob Elliot got to grips with a different kind of opponent as the Newcastle United goalkeeper teamed up with the Newcastle United Foundation for a special day at Newburn Judo Club.
The 26-year-old took to the mats at Newburn Activity Centre with 40 participants aged 10-16 from schools across the north east, even demonstrating a textbook throw on the club’s British champion Courtney Shoulder.
"It’s great the Premier League 4 Sport scheme helps the kids to improve their skills"
Newburn is a hub club for judo as part of the foundation’s Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S) project, which aims to encourage pupils aged 10-16 to attend judo clubs at their schools to advance their skills at the community facility.
The project started in September 2009 and has helped thousands of young people get involved in local community sport. Under PL4S, which is is funded by a £3.8 million partnership with the Premier League and UK Government, the club acts as a hub linked to community sports facilities, which in turn are linked to local secondary schools to create satellite sports centres.
As well as receiving coaching from the staff, the children were able to show off their talents by challenging their peers, with students representing Thomas Walling Primary School, Ponteland Middle School, Whickham Sports College, Richard Coates Middle School and Sacred Heart School.
“It was great fun joining in,” Elliot said. “There were some really talented young people here today so it’s great that the Premier League 4 Sport scheme is helping them to improve their skills.”
Joe Laws, head coach at Newburn Judo Club, added: “The event provided an opportunity for all the children to come to the club and take part in judo in a relaxed environment against children from other schools."
To learn more about how the Newcastle United Foundation is using football to engage and improve the lives of youngsters, please visit www.nufc.co.uk/foundation.