Sunderland stars help youngsters make healthy choices

SAFC footballers Danny Graham, Alfred N'Diaye and Wes Brown visit pupils at Southmoor school to talk about safe and healthy lifestyle choices.

SAFC footballers Danny Graham, Alfred N'Diaye and Wes Brown visit pupils at Southmoor school to talk about safe and healthy lifestyle choices.

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SAFC stars went back to school to launch an advice project.

Defender Wes Brown and new signings Danny Graham and Alfred N’diaye were back in class to launch Tackle It: Lifestyle Coaching, a programme helping teens make healthy choices.

Students at Southmoor School in Grangetown, Sunderland, had the chance to quiz the trio of Black Cats stars.

Afterwards, the youngsters took part in an energetic football tennis session with the pros.

All 24 pupils have completed the Tackle It project over the last three months and were able to test their knowledge in fun quizzes based on board games and bingo.

After a successful pilot over the summer 2012 term – at schools in Biddick and Thornhill – the Foundation of Light and Sunderland City Council-run scheme is now available to schools across Wearside.

More than 100 youngsters have already signed up to the coaching project, which works with Year 9 and 10 pupils.

Topics covered include sexual health, peer pressure, alcohol and drug awareness and gender stereotyping.

The programme is split between classroom-based sessions with the council’s Risk and Resilience Team and practical activity with Foundation of Light staff.

Steve Colquhoun, who manages the Tackle It programme, praised everyone who took part and helped to organise the popular event.

He said: “It’s been an absolutely brilliant day and the kids have really enjoyed it.

“The stuff they have done in the classrooms are going over the sessions we have already had with the kids.”

Funded by Sunderland City Council, the lifestyle coaching is the latest addition to the Foundation’s Tackle Portfolio, which covers topics such as racism, self-esteem, bullying and disability awareness, with youngsters aged seven and above.

Twitter: @janethejourno