Skipper Tom Clarke and his fellow centre half Paul Huntington were welcomed by the pupils of Sherwood Primary School in terrific fashion with the pair visiting the school as part of the Premier League Primary Stars Programme.
Both players entered the school hall to the chorus of children singing their names - echoing the chants that the duo have from the PNE faithful, with the ‘Cumbrian Cannvaro’ and Super Tommy Clarke’.
After a warm welcome, both players received various questions from pupils, and teacher and PSFA Chairman, Paul Whelan spoke of the impact the Stars Programme is having on the children.
Paul said: “The year four children have done the H.E.L.P (Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Programme) and really enjoyed it, working with the PNE coaches out in the hall and outside doing lots of different things. The year three's meanwhile have been doing the development squad looking at self-esteem, developing their confidence and working as part of a team.
“Having Preston North End in helps them and their confidence. Pupils see that PNE are delivering the sessions and it makes them want to give that little bit more for the PNE staff that come in.”
Huntington and Clarke’s visit has been one of many player appearances conducted by the PNE Community and Education Trust throughout the year as the Trust looks to take the power of Preston North End into primary schools and inspire them – both in their personal development, and to support their local football club and Paul felt that being in the company of two first team players can only inspire the pupils.
“I’m a big Preston North End fan so having them both in has been brilliant,” he continued. “The kids have loved it and having two famous footballers who are in the first team - captains as well - it’s just really beneficial for the children.
“They were all talking about it in class now, thinking about their favourite player and asking me when’s the next game so things like this inspires children to support their local football club.
“We’ve signed up to the PL Primary Stars and the poetry competition so it’s not just football, it’s other sports as well and getting them involved. We’ve signed up for the free competition to win a football kit and again that looks really good when you’re representing your school and when it says PL Primary Stars on the front, they just give that extra 10 percent which makes a difference.”
Get your school involved in Preston North End’s Premier League Primary Stars Programme ahead of this September. Call 01772 693309 or email Harriet@pne.com to find out more. Or visit the schools provision page here.