Sporting life on Sunderland beach + VIDEO

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FITNESS coaches took to Roker beach to deliver a sporting session for newcomers.

The group were part of Street League, a national charity working to improve the education prospects of young people through football.

Andy Gray and Jimmy Thorpe, right, with members of the Street League scheme working towards Community Sports Leadership qualifications.

Andy Gray and Jimmy Thorpe, right, with members of the Street League scheme working towards Community Sports Leadership qualifications.

The young lads taking part are working towards their Level Two qualification in community sports leadership and wanted to give visitors a taste of what the sessions are all about.

Progression coordinator for Street League, Andy Gray, said the team was developing well and confidence has rapidly grown.

Andy, 28, said: “It was a really great session and this will move them into education, helping them learn how to plan and deliver fitness sessions.”

The charity uses free football sessions to initially engage young people before taking them on to the eight-week academy where they will learn new skills.

Andy said: “We use the power of football to engage with 16 to 25-year-olds.

“It is a massive confidence builder and they get the qualifications and a little bit of experience in what an interview might be like and a bit for their CV.

“It’s a bit of routine and a bit of structure.”

So far, the course has proved a big hit.

Andy said: “I think the stats show that somewhere about 70 per cent of people who have done the course go into employment, which is really good.”

Andy is also keen to get more girls involved as so far it has mainly been boys showing up for the sessions.

He said: “It’s not just football, which might put some girls off, it’s about different sport and exercises.”

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THE free football sessions take place at the Raich Carter, Hendon, on Wednesday afternoons.

Anyone interested in taking part can phone or email Andy or turn up at one of the sessions, which run from 1.30pm to 3pm.

Anyone attending is asked to bring proof they are not working, if possible.

For more information, email northeast@streetleague.co.uk or visit www.streetleague.co.uk.