Newcastle United’s DeAndre Yedlin and Jetro Willems have been sharing their matchday routines, eating habits and training regimes with children learning about health and fitness with Newcastle United Foundation.
Pupils at Byker Primary School were thrilled to meet two United stars when they made a surprise visit during a Match Fit session at the school, led by the charity’s coaching staff.
As two key players and important role models to Newcastle’s youth, Yedlin and Willems were able to inspire dozens of pupils completing classwork with the Foundation in partnership with Byker Community Trust Housing Association, who own and manage the iconic Grade II* listed Estate.
Byker Community Trust and the Foundation have been working together to help enrich the Byker estate with a number of community programmes offering employability support, activity in schools and health and wellbeing events through United Byker.
Throughout the 2018/19 season, the Foundation expanded its Premier League Primary Stars delivery to schools in St Lawrence’s Primary and Byker Primary Schools.
Now in its fourth year, up to 120 pupils will be engaged with existing Newcastle United Foundation activities alongside Match Fit, literacy and numeracy support.
Yedlin said: “It is really good to be back in Byker and to see how the Foundation’s partnership with Byker Community Trust has grown since the last time I was here in early 2019.
“It is great to see how opportunities are making a big difference to the people living here, from kids to adults and families. It has a really amazing impact.”
The 26-year-old right-back told Year 5 classes at Byker Primary how important a healthy and balanced diet is to maintaining his fitness, with 25-year-old left-back Willems adding that it is vital the entire team keep on top of their nutrition and hydration.
Jill Haley Chief Executive of Byker Community trust said “We are delighted to work in partnership with Newcastle United Foundation in order to support the delivery of our Thriving Byker Strategy. The Match Fit programme, and events such as today, really help to inspire the young people of Byker to learn about the importance of their health and wellbeing”.
The Foundation also works with Byker’s young people who are currently not in education, training or employment by offering 12-week courses followed up with one-to-one support for up to two years after if required.
Adults will also be able to access Walking Football sessions at Spires Lane and Walker Activity Dome alongside twice-annual NHS Health Checks open to participants of all ages.
Elaine Flynn, Partnerships Coordinator at Newcastle United Foundation, said: “It is incredibly rewarding to see the real difference we are able to make in the area with the continued support of Byker Community Trust.
“We are very proud to work with Byker Community Trust and we look forward to engaging with even more participants than ever before through our Education, Employability, and Health and Wellbeing programmes in the coming months.”