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Butland: I still get excited now about new kit

8 Dec 2015

Stoke City goalkeeper praises Players' Kit Scheme as he delivers new strip to Newstead Primary

Jack Butland was the special guest at Newstead Primary Academy this week as the Stoke City goalkeeper present the latest kit donated through the Premier League Players' Kit Scheme.

Butland, established this season as Stoke's first-choice No 1, presented the new strip to the school football team, who take part in Premier League School Sport sessions delivered every week by Stoke City's Community Trust.  

He was put through his paces during the visit, answering questions at school assembly before taking his place between the posts as the football team, wearing the new kit, played a match of seven-a-side.

"It's nice to come to the school and seeing kids so passionate about getting out and playing football,” Butland told "They seem really pleased with the new kits. 

"It's a very simple thing but it gives a little bit of motivation, a little bit of encouragement to the guys to get involved."

The Players' Kit Scheme has been running since 2011/12 in partnership with Nike and involves all 20 Barclays Premier League clubs donating kits for schools in their local area, giving players a sense of identity and encouraging young people to get active.

More than 4,000 teams have received kit since the programme started, with 14,940 individual kits donated in 2014/15 alone.

Jack Butland took part in a match with the pupils

"Not only is it having an impact on the people in the team, it's affected the people in the classroom who are thinking, 'I would now like to be a part of that'," Butland said. "It's a massively important scheme.

"I remember my first kit and school, which was very similar to this one, with red and white stripes. It was a brilliant day for us when the teacher showed us the box with the new kit. It was really exciting. I still get excited now when new boots and gloves turn up! I know how they feel."

Butland almost kept a clean sheet during the fun match at Newstead Primary but Year 6 player Leon Chanengeta did what Man City could not do on Saturday and put the ball past the England goalkeeper, much to the delight of his team-mates.

"I'm not going to brag about it!" Chanengeta said. "It's been an amazing experience to have Jack here at the school and especially to score against him. He was a good competitor."

He also attended a whole-school assembly and answered questions from the youngsters

Newstead Primary said the kit will make a big difference to the school team, who had been playing in their PE kit.

"The players come to training every week with dedication and having a football kit to put on when they play another school gives them a sense of pride," said assistant head Mrs Smith. "To have Jack Butland coming to the school was a big 'wow' moment.

"He is a role model. For some of our children, their aspirations are to become footballers so it's been an amazing day. We are really grateful."

The Newstead players are part of the Premier League School Sport programme, where community coaches from Premier League and Football League clubs offer PE lessons and professional development for teachers. Coaches also run after-school multi-sports clubs and tournaments.

"The Stoke City coach makes the lessons fun and makes sure there is a variety," Chanengeta said. "We've done football, netball, benchball, basketball and handball."

The Premier League's sport and education offer is in 4,158 schools but the League plans to more than double its availability to 10,000 schools in the next three years and offer it to all primary schools within six years.

About Players' Kit Scheme

  • Began in 2011/12 and is run in partnership with Nike
  • Every Premier League club nominates 10 schools in their local area as kit recipients. Other schools can apply via an online application.
  • 4,251 teams have received kit since the initiative started
  • 14,940 individual kits were given away in 2014/15

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