Adam and Luke go back to school as initiative hits one year milestone

Adam and Luke go back to school as initiative hits one year milestone

South Shields midfielders Adam Thurston and Luke Daly went back to school this week as the club’s charitable arm continued to make a difference in the community.

Adam and Luke joined the Head of SSFC Foundation, Steve Camm, at St Oswald’s RC Primary School in South Shields to offer all pupils at the school an opportunity to enjoy a matchday experience at Mariners Park.

The children will be our guests at the much-anticipated derby match against Morpeth Town on Saturday, November 30, with a selection of them set to be flag bearers ahead of the game.

The players dropped into a school assembly to deliver the news before fielding questions from eager pupils for more than half an hour.

The schools initiative kicked off last November and has been a huge success over the last 12 months.

We have visited 32 schools and spoken to over 5,000 children, almost 1,500 of whom have already enjoyed a matchday experience at Mariners Park.

Last year we particularly focused on those in Years 5 and 6 – or the Class of 23, as we dubbed them.

The success of last season’s initiative prompted us to extend the project this time around, with players now speaking to entire schools and offering every pupil the opportunity to watch a game.

Steve Camm has been at every one of those school visits, and is delighted with how the initiative has been received.

He said: “I remember the first school we visited, Westoe Crown, very well because we went in with Blair Adams, Dan Wright and Ursene Mouanda and weren’t sure what to expect.

“We asked the children if any of them had a question and all 180 of them put their hand up.

“From that point we thought it was definitely something we wanted to be involved in, and it has been a great success so far.

“The excitement and welcome we’ve received in each of the schools has been absolutely amazing.

“The questions asked, from five-year-olds up to 11-year-olds, have been brilliant and it has been a pleasure to be in the schools.

“Every school has met our challenge to ask us a question we haven’t been asked before and the players always enjoy visiting and giving something back to the community.

“I must also mention the behaviour of the children, which has been exemplary everywhere we’ve been.”

Last season, a selection of children at each of the schools visited were also invited to The Word, in South Shields town centre, to write and record match reports based on their experiences.

We are working on providing something similar for the pupils this season as the initiative continues to go from strength to strength.

We look forward to welcoming pupils from St Oswald’s to Mariners Park on November 30 and hope they enjoy their experience.