Black Cats legend Kevin Ball is pupils’ new mentor

game on: Former Sunderland player Kevin Ball with the students he is mentoring at Sandhill View School.
game on: Former Sunderland player Kevin Ball with the students he is mentoring at Sandhill View School.
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A FORMER Sunderland skipper has made some great signings at a Wearside school.

Ex-SAFC star Kevin Ball has taken a group of four Year 11 boys from Sandhill View School under his wing.

Mentoring the boys at such an important time in their life means I can help them to think about how they can make better choices for themselves, and their futures.

Kevin Ball

Luke Richardson, Nathan Martin, Keith Holdsworth and Kieran Ramsay have signed ‘contracts’ to work with Kevin, who will mentor them until they leave the Grindon Lane school in July.

Kevin, who holds regular sessions at the school, said he is looking forward to helping the youngsters. He said: “I presented at the awards ceremony in November 2014 and was so impressed by the enthusiasm of the kids and the staff that I wanted to do more to support the school.

“Mentoring the boys at such an important time in their life means I can help them to think about how they can make better choices for themselves, and their futures.”

One of the youngsters, Nathan, said of Kevin: “He is a great mentor because he keeps me motivated to do well in my subjects and tries to keep us all on track and to behave well.”

The school places great emphasis on working with all pupils to ensure that they realise the importance of having the correct attitude towards learning, a skill which will benefit them in their lives long after leaving secondary education.

The mentoring scheme is just part of the school’s renewed focus on increasing standards of behaviour and improving pupil approaches towards learning and different learning styles, all of which are underpinned by the whole school ethos of raising aspirations.

Deputy headteacher Richard Carr, who is responsible for students’ pastoral care and behaviour at Sandhill View, said people like the sportsman are making a big difference to the youngsters.

He said: “The school is delighted that an accomplished sportsman like Kevin Ball is willing to invest significant time in our pupils.

“It is very important and also highly appreciated that people with a different perspective on life speak with our pupils - it can make a hugely positive difference to their thinking and influence their attitudes towards life-long learning.”