Nick Clegg saw schoolchildren hit the back of the net in Sheffield as part of an FA Tesco Skills session today.
The deputy prime minister and FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking visited Stannington Infants School and looked on as expert FA coaches put the pupils through their paces.
With half of Sheffield enthralled by FA Cup fever ahead of United’s semi-final clash with Hull City on Sunday, the two star guests revealed their delight at watching the enthusiasm the youngsters displayed during the kickabout.
Clegg said: “I was pleased to welcome Sir Trevor to Sheffield and see the students in action, particularly at a time when half the city is gripped by FA Cup fever and looking forward to their day at Wembley.
“As a father of three young boys who are all football fanatics, I know only too well what a great opportunity football presents for our children to get active.
“I was impressed with how the FA Tesco Skills programme helps children develop more than just their football skills. Confidence, building self-esteem and learning to work as a team are all important lessons for our young people.”
“I was impressed with how the FA Tesco Skills programme helps children develop more than just their football skills”
Nick Clegg Deputy Prime Minister
Brooking added: “It was good to meet the students and see how much they are enjoying taking part in the programme.
“It gives boys and girls the opportunity to get active through football and, more importantly, they also develop a whole range of social and life skills to help them play an increasingly positive role in their local communities.”
The Skills programme has been running since 2007 and provides professional coaching for five to 11-year-olds.
Since its inception, over five million skills sessions have been delivered to children across England and the initiative forms part of the £1m The FA invests into grassroots football every week.
The scheme employs 158 coaches to help children of all abilities get active, learn new skills, build self-confidence and enjoy football through coaching sessions delivered both in primary schools alongside teachers and outside of school at FA Skills centres.
The programme is free to primary schools and has been delivered in more than 7,500 schools and has supported more than 21,500 teachers.
For more information on FA Tesco Skills please visit: http://tescoskills.thefa.com/