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Tesco Bank Junior Players Kicks Off In The North East

Newcastle United’s Ayoze Perez, Sunderland AFC’s Duncan Watmore and Newcastle Eagles Fab Flournoy, Drew Lasker and Joe Hart launched Tesco Bank Junior Players at Quorum Business Park.

Junior Players is a community sports programme which will see 15,000 primary school pupils from across the North East of England take part in football and basketball sessions led by the Foundation of Light, Newcastle United Foundation and Newcastle Eagles Community Foundation.

The three club’s Community Foundations, in partnership with Tesco Bank and Tesco Underwriting, have combined to develop a sports that will give young people in the region the opportunity to not only take part in physical activity, but to receive expert tuition from highly qualified coaches. This flagship programme is first time the three Foundations have collaborated on such a project.

Children from St Stephens RC Primary School in Longbenton , who will be participating in the programme, attended today’s launch at Tesco Bank’s Newcastle base and were put through their paces by the players and coaches from the respective Foundations. 

Iain Harnett, Tesco Bank, Managing Director, Operations said: “We are thrilled to expand our community programme into the North East of England with this fantastic programme. We focus on creating opportunities for young people and encouraging healthy choices which are objectives shared with all three of the Foundations. We are a major employer in the North East and this programme allows us to give something back to the communities which have supported us.”

Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “We’re thrilled to have Tesco Bank’s support to share the coaching expertise of the Foundation staff across the region to help inspire more young people to get involved in grassroots sport. 

“We’re really proud to be part of this pioneering partnership that sees the three Foundation’s work together for the first time.  We know that through this initiative we can encourage even more young people to get involved in sport.”

Jamie Wright, Foundation of Light Managing Director commented: “We’re delighted to be working with Tesco Bank and our colleagues north of the Tyne on this exciting new project that will make a big difference to grassroots sport in the region.

 “Thank you to Tesco Bank for supporting the Junior Players programme, it demonstrates a real commitment to the North East and we hope this is the start of a very successful partnership.”

Samantha Blake, Newcastle Eagles Community Foundation, said: “We are excited that Tesco Bank have invested in our young people’s sporting future. The support will provide more than 15,000 young people a new sporting experience. The Eagles Community Foundation look forward to building a new partnership with Tesco bank whilst delivering alongside Foundation of Light and Newcastle United Foundation.”

Newcastle United Foundation Ambassador Ayoze Perez added: “A good coach is really important and it’s great that Tesco Bank is supporting the Foundation so their coaches can work with even more people!”

Duncan Watmore, from Sunderland AFC said: “I think it’s great that this project is encouraging so many young people to get involved in sport across the whole of the North East through the work of the Foundation of Light and other partners.”

Fab Flournoy, Player and Head Coach at Newcastle Eagles, commented: “Its always fantastic to teach young people about the sport I love playing and I hope they find as much enjoyment from the game as I do.”

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