The students at ‘Learning for Life’ have had the opportunity to work with Newcastle United Football Foundation coaches, throughout this year during weekly physical education sessions, at Consett Leisure Centre. All the young people involved have worked so hard to acquire new skills, improve existing ones whilst developing their levels of fitness, in enjoyable and fun sessions. As a reward for all their hard work and determination to achieve, the coaches and staff from the college arranged a tour of Saint James’ Park, Newcastle United’s home ground.
Twenty students (together with staff and coaches), had an amazing morning finding out all about Newcastle United Football club. From hanging out in the dressing rooms-where a marked difference can be seen between the home and away ones; to running down the tunnel, under the famous ‘Howay the Lads’ lucky sign, onto the pitch and into the dugouts; to experiencing the manager’s position in the media room and imaging to give the latest press conference, there was never a dull moment! Each and every inch of the stadium had us all engrossed and allowed us to imagine life at the famous black and white club, standing where many of the young people’s idols have also stood. It was endearing that the students wanted pictures next to photographs and statues of world famous stars, including the legendary Sir Bobby Robson.
But perhaps the highlight of the day was the medal presentation, which the coaches had secretly arranged. One-by-one, this special group of young people, stood up went forward and shock hands with the coaches, as they presented the medals to rapturous applause. The smiles on their faces and the fact that some students continued to wear their medals with pride for the rest of the week, encapsulates what a special visit this was.
Learning for Life would like to thank all of those at the Newcastle Football Foundation and football club, who made this visit possible and know what a positive experience it was for all. All that is left to say is thank-you, “Toon, toon. Back and white army!”