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Tuesday 25 March 2014

Newcastle stars help local kids stay Match Fit

Tim Krul and Luuk de Jong visit local school to help session on healthy eating and exercise

  • Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul helped Benton's Year 4s know the value of good health

  • Striker Luuk de Jong also helped the children learn about having a healthy diet

Newcastle United are helping children in the north-east stay healthy thanks to a programme delivered by the club's Foundation and some get the chance to hear from their heroes about the importance of good nutrition and exercise.

Match Fit is a six-week programme being run by Newcastle United Foundation designed for primary schools that aims to improve pupils' fitness levels and nutrition awareness. The programme features two-hour sessions featuring an interactive hour in the classroom teaching the fundamentals of nutrition and a healthy diet, followed by an hour of physical activity. Children in one local school were lucky to have a couple of Newcastle's first-team stars help to deliver one of their sessions.

"The football club is a great case study to aid engagement not just during PE, but also in the classroom"
Kate Bradley

Tim Krul and Luuk de Jong visited Benton Primary School to teach the pupils about the importance of exercise and healthy eating. The Dutchmen were with 44 children from the school's Year 4 class, giving a special insight into their healthy lifestyles as elite sportsmen.

Since it was launched in 2008, almost 10,000 young people have taken part in the 330 Match Fit courses, which are funded by the Premier League PFA Community Fund and are backed by Newcastle City Council. Research has found that almost four-fifths of students engaged on a Match Fit programme get better nutritional knowledge as a result and nearly three-quarters show improvements in their fitness levels after attending the programme.

"Football, and particularly the stars who play the game, have an extraordinary power to engage with young people so it's fantastic to see Tim and Luuk making time to pass on such positive messages to the children," Kate Bradley, head of Newcastle United Foundation, said. "The football club is a great case study to aid engagement not just during PE, but also in the classroom.

"Activity levels in childhood are a great predictor for levels of physical activity in adulthood. Visiting school children in this way means we can put this knowledge into action and encourage them to make healthy choices which will benefit them for years to come."

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