Atsu holds coaching session for Byker youngsters
Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu held a coaching session for youngsters at the Magpies' training ground on Wednesday.
The Ghana international took time out after training ahead of Sunday's Premier League visit of Chelsea to pass on tips to the group of children from Byker.
The prize - donated by the club and Newcastle United Foundation - went up for auction at Atsu's Black Star Dinner, in aid of his charity Arms Around the Child, in March.
Painting and decorating contractors Bell Group purchased the prize. They are keen supporters of Newcastle United Foundation and, as part of their commitment to investing within the communities in which they work, decided to offer the prize to deserving young people from Byker.
Byker Community Trust, also a Foundation Partner, and Newcastle United Foundation identified children from the area to attend, and they were invited to the training centre to watch the team train and meet Rafa Benítez.
After lunch Bell Group, Newcastle United Foundation and Byker Community Trust representatives engaged with the group to explain the work each of the partners carried out and the positive impact the group of young people can have on shaping the future of Byker.
Then Atsu joined them for the coaching session. "I'm very happy that I'm here with these kids after the auction," said the winger. "I had a very good session with them and I can see they are very happy.
"It was a pleasure for me to put a smile on their faces. We want them to be happy and we also want them to learn good things from their role models, how to become good people. I can see they are very intelligent and very smart kids and hopefully they can take a lot from today."
Paul Aitkin, Branch Manager at Bell Group, said: "Bell Group is committed to helping young people raise their aspirations and reach their full potential. This was a brilliant opportunity for us to engage with young people from Byker, reward them for their commitment to the community activity programme through Byker Community Trust and their dedication to attending Byker Kicks with Newcastle United Foundation.
"It was great for the young people to meet such an inspiring role model in Christian Atsu and to hear about all the great work he does to support his community in Ghana through Arms Around the Child. If we can encourage and inspire these young people to be just as proud of their community and to realise that they can make a difference I think that is really positive."
Philip Pollard, Director of Operations at Byker Community Trust, added: "I would like to thank Bell Group for the fantastic opportunity these young people from Byker have had today. It is something that they will remember forever."
"It was great for the young people to meet such an inspiring role model in Christian Atsu and to hear about all the great work he does to support his community in Ghana through Arms Around the Child."