Massadio Haidara and Vurnon Anita

Newcastle United players Vurnon Anita and Massadio Haïdara joined local disabled youngsters at Walker Activity Dome on Monday to celebrate the renewal of a grant which will boost the Newcastle United Foundation's disability football coaching sessions for the next three years.

The additional £75,000 of funding has been pledged by the national BBC Children in Need campaign, which previously awarded a three-year grant to the Club's official registered charity back in 2010.

Since the original grant was awarded, the Foundation - which relies solely on independent funding - has introduced football coaching sessions to 1,700 young people with a range of disabilities as part of a wider programme, with 43 special educational needs schools across Tyneside already benefitting.

Children in Need's continued support will now fund nine out-of-school coaching centres in association with Northumberland FA, which will provide fitness and mobility work and training drills including throwing, passing, ball control and shooting to 150 children over 36 weeks of the year.

Dutch midfielder Anita and French defender Haidara joined in Monday's session with 24 pupils from Woodlawn School, in North Tyneside, before taking part in a special question and answer session in front of the BBC Match of the Day cameras.

"We are very pleased to support the Newcastle United Foundation and projects like this," said Anita.

"We receive fantastic support on the pitch so it is important that we take time to say thank you and show our support back.

"It is incredible to hear about what the Foundation has done for many people in the city, especially the young people here who face many challenges in life. It is great that Children in Need will help them to continue to do more."

As well as introducing coaching to disabled children, the Newcastle United Foundation also gives participants the chance to represent the Magpies at national tournaments, with three new teams created- a team for children with Down's Syndrome, a team for blind and visually impaired youngsters and another for those with cerebral palsy.

Parents and carers are encouraged to get involved with the sessions, which are free of charge, with some even working towards attaining the Football Association's Level 1 coaching badge and participating in a Coaching Disabled Footballers course.

Kate Bradley, head of the Newcastle United Foundation, said: "Disabled children need to be active just as much as their nondisabled peers and our football coaching sessions are helping more and more youngsters to engage in physical activity with the support of their parents and carers.

"Football can have a profound effect on participants. Being in a team environment can really help to build their confidence, self-esteem and resilience and we're delighted that we can continue with these sessions thanks to BBC Children in Need's support.

"To have helped 1,700 young disabled people with coaching is something we are very proud of and we look forward to building on that over the next three years."

The Newcastle United Foundation was founded in August 2008 and has since raised more than £4 million, which has been reinvested directly into community sports, health and educational projects which have reached a staggering 139,000 children, young people and families. It now employs 40 full time staff alongside a further ten sessional coaches.

To register an interest in attending the Newcastle United Foundation's disability football sessions, please email or call 07826 870237.

To find out more about the Newcastle United Foundation and how it is working with communities across the region, please visit or contact Kate Bradley, head of the Newcastle United Foundation, on 07825 890 782 or