Loic Remy


Schoolchildren taking part in a disability coaching session with the Newcastle United Foundation had a surprise visit from the Magpies' top scorer, Loïc Rémy, earlier this week.

The French striker dropped in to Benton Dene School in Newcastle with the Club's official charity on Monday afternoon, joining in the session and distributing medals to pupils aged 10 and 11, each with complex learning difficulties or autism, at the end of the ten-week Football for All programme.

Football for All is continuing to bring the national game to even more people in the local community, with the power of Newcastle United and its players helping to drive engagement.

The scheme is now active across 42 special educational needs schools in the North-East and benefits 600 children, each with disabilities including visually impairments, Down's syndrome, cerebral palsy and other learning challenges.

The schools programme is funded by family-run business Kids 1st Nurseries, which has provided award-winning childcare across the region since first opening its doors at Rake Lane in 2004.

Helen McArdle, chairman of Kids 1st, said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to be able to work together with such a worthwhile cause.

"Sport is such a valuable part of a child's education but even more so for a child who is suffering from a disability. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with the Newcastle United Foundation."

Kate Bradley, head of Newcastle United Foundation, added: "The Foundation is independently funded and continues to rely on the generosity of individual fundraisers and organisations such as Kids 1st, so we are thrilled to have them on board and in support of such a worthwhile programme.

"Football for All is a flagship scheme for us and the benefits for children are immense.

"As well as increasing their mobility and coordination through football, we have also seen a notable improvement in participants' confidence, basic skills in sharing, communicating, decision making, listening and following rules.

"It's great to have the support of the players, who really value their time with us. The reaction from children is always fantastic and we'd like to thank Loïc for sharing his time with them."

As well as receiving medals from Loïc, the children will be in attendance for Newcastle United's Barclays Premier League fixture with Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon, giving them further opportunities to enjoy the game.

To find out more about how the Newcastle United Foundation helps 50,000 local people every year, please visit www.nufc.co.uk/foundation or email foundation@nufc.co.uk.

To find out more about award-winning Kids 1st Nurseries, please visit www.kids1st.net.