Tuesday 15 April 2014
Grassroots coaches working at Sunderland AFC's Foundation of Light were given a day to remember last week as Barclays Premier League title sponsor Barclays thanked them for their commitment to the local community.
Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet and defender John O'Shea entertained a group of grassroots football coaches and players at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday for an exclusive event.
The coaches from the Foundation of Light's Coaches Clinics and players from Sunderland Foundation Youth FC met Poyet and O'Shea for a question-and-answer session.
The pair were quizzed on the Barclays Premier League campaign before they signed autographs and posed for photos. The coaches and players had a private tour of the stadium and enjoyed lunch in one of club's suites overlooking the pitch.
The Foundation of Light uses the power of football to involve, educate and inspire more than 42,000 young people and their families across the north-east each year through a range of award-winning programmes designed to change lives.
The Foundation has links to the Washington Millennium Centre, a Barclays Spaces for Sports site and one of 200 community sports sites that Barclays has built with partners the Football Foundation. The coaches were chosen by Barclays because of their valuable work in teaching grassroots football in the community.
"This season Barclays is saying thank you to community heroes across the UK who help make the Barclays Premier League what it is today," said David Wheldon, managing director of brand, reputation, citizenship & marketing at Barclays.
"Football coaches at grassroots level dedicate hours of their time to help local players improve their skills and learn the values of the game. The coaches at the Foundation of Light really deserve this day out as a thank you for their dedication and hard work."
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/barclaysfootball and join the conversation to thank community heroes with #YouAreFootball.