Premier League legend Mark Bright is supporting a Crystal Palace FC Foundation scheme, using the power of PE to transform children’s lives.
The Healthy Eagles programme, run in partnership with Sutton Council, is aimed at inactive or less confident children who find it difficult to take part in PE lessons or go to a sports club. It nurtures children with behavioural issues, teaching them about healthy lifestyles and inspiring them to improve attainment through sport.
Bright, who is Crystal Palace’s director of U21 Development, joined the CPFC Foundation at Bandon Hill Primary School in Sutton to get first-hand experience of its Healthy Eagles programme.
He said: “It’s important to get out there, spread the word, get the tracksuits into the schools and just make sure the kids are having fun and stay fit. Your health is your wealth”.
Bright was joined at the event by two members of the Palace Ladies team, Northern Ireland international, Pam McRoberts, and Mary Robinson, a GP, who praised the scheme for educating children to make the right decisions about healthy eating.
Paul Mitchell, PE & School Sport Manager at CPFC Foundation said: “The Healthy Eagles project is an important part of our Premier League Primary Stars programme. We have a successful partnership with Sutton Council, working with hundreds of children and their families. We’re reaching less confident and inactive children across the borough and are seeing great results.”
The programme engages the whole family, helping children improve their health and attitude towards exercise, developing a sporting habit for life. Healthy Eagles runs with funding support from Sutton Council and engages with around 250 young people and their families a year.
Lisa Bianchi, from Wallington, whose 10-year-old son Corin is taking part in the programme, said it was having a very positive impact: “They are doing a fantastic job with the children, I worry about the young spending too much time in front of computers and this programme is good for confidence building. It’s fun and the children are learning without knowing it”.
Lindy Sills, Assistant Head Teacher of Bandon Hill Primary School, said: “I’ve seen a real difference in the children this afternoon. Some children who lack confidence and have anxiety issues have really come out of their shell. Since we’ve been involved with the Foundation coaches, we’ve seen higher levels of confidence in class too.”
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