Tuesday 26 March 2013
Victor Anichebe visited a local school last week to see how Everton are continuing the legacy of London 2012 and helping to prepare future Olympians for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The striker, who won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics with Nigeria, joined Everton in the Community at a table tennis club at Broadgreen International School, which was established thanks to Everton's programme for Premier League 4 Sport.
"It’s great to see young people taking up different sports"
At the event Anichebe showed off his ping pong skills and challenged students to a game or two before taking part in a question and answer session about being an Olympian.
"It's great to see young people taking up different sports and having the drive to aim for events like the Olympics and represent their country," Anichebe said. "Going to Beijing in 2008 hasn't really sunk in to be honest. Maybe when I am older I will appreciate it a lot more because I look at the build-up on TV and see how proud the Olympians are."
Premier League 4 Sport was introduced over three years ago in the run-up to the London Games to encourage participation and progression in a range of Olympic sports, including table tennis, judo, volleyball and badminton.
In that time Everton in the Community has given over 3,500 young people across Liverpool and Knowsley the chance to try non-traditional sports. The programme has created a number of hub and satellite clubs, including the Broadgreen International School table tennis club, across the region to enable young people to take up Olympic sports and also offer those already playing a formal route to progress.
"The programme will hopefully develop some sporting stars for Rio 2016"
"I would like to thank Victor for coming along today and sharing his Olympic experiences with the young people," said Jackie Twort, Premier League 4 Sport Co-ordinator for Everton in the Community. "It's not often you meet an Olympian, but one who also plays for Everton is extra special!
"The programme aims to get children from all backgrounds involved in non-traditional, club-based sport and we have had a fantastic response since we launched in September 2009. London 2012 was a fantastic advert for alternative sports and demand for sports such as volleyball, judo and also badminton has increased significantly.
"The programme will hopefully not only continue the legacy London 2012 has left to inspire younger generations to get involved in sport, but develop some sporting stars for Rio 2016."