It was a day to remember for hundreds of children, teenagers, families, and colleagues following the footsteps of Newcastle United greats as they walked out onto the pitch at St. James’ Park with Newcastle United Foundation.
Twenty teams battled for the Newcastle United Foundation Corporate Cup, with Riding Mill FC emerging champions and EY Athletic taking the prestigious Plate following a knockout tournament on May 20.
The corporate competition was followed by the Foundation’s Premier League Kicks girls’ squad, Disability Football clubs, Street Footballers, Walking Footballers, Newcastle Panthers and BTEC scholars all taking their place on the pitch.
More than 200 children aged five to 11 also enjoyed coaching sessions on the stadium pitch delivered by Newcastle United Foundation’s UEFA-licensed coaches leading small-sided games for aspiring young footballers, who also had the chance to meet Mehrdad Ghodoussi.
Steve Beharall, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “We are proud to be making a difference in so many people’s lives and to provide opportunities we know will inspire younger generations for their future.
“Lots of us can only ever aspire to play elite football in a stadium and to play at St. James’ Park is a dream for so many people. To make that dream a reality for hundreds of people – of all ages and abilities and backgrounds – marks a proud moment for us as a Foundation supporting our community.”
He added: “We are grateful as always to Newcastle United and Liontrust for their generosity and support in helping us provide this unforgettable opportunity for our community.”
Those playing at the event represent the broad range of the charity’s work in the North East and from its programmes across community, education and employability, football development and health and wellbeing.
Foundation participants at St. James’ Park included talented young female footballers from disadvantaged backgrounds, disabled young people, asylum seekers and refugees, LGBTQ+ footballers, and older participants accessing sport to boost their physical and mental health.
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