Sunderland striker Ji-Dong Won helps children get healthier

Sunderland Football Club and Heart Research UK 'Heart of the Game' project. From left Heart Research UK Barbara Harpham, Jarrow Cross C of E pupil Jack Hogg, aged nine, and Sunderland FC player Ji-Dong Wong.

Sunderland Football Club and Heart Research UK 'Heart of the Game' project. From left Heart Research UK Barbara Harpham, Jarrow Cross C of E pupil Jack Hogg, aged nine, and Sunderland FC player Ji-Dong Wong.

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BLACK Cats star Ji-Dong Won helped youngsters get on the ball to healthier lives – after a £10,000 boost.

The South Korean striker took a break from training to visit Jarrow Cross Church of England Primary School, in Jarrow.

Sunderland Football Club and Heart Research UK 'Heart of the Game' project. From left Heart Research UK Barbara Harpham, Jarrow Cross C of E pupil Jack Hogg aged 9 and Sunderland FC player Ji-Dong Wong.

Sunderland Football Club and Heart Research UK 'Heart of the Game' project. From left Heart Research UK Barbara Harpham, Jarrow Cross C of E pupil Jack Hogg aged 9 and Sunderland FC player Ji-Dong Wong.

The player was promoting the healthy heart message by Heart Research UK (HRUK) among pupils at the school.

More than 1,500 children in schools across South Tyneside will take part in a range of healthy activities, thanks to a £10,000 Healthy Heart Grant from HRUK to Sunderland Football Club’s Heart of the Game project.

The fitness scheme will build on the success of Sunderland Football Club’s Foundation of Light project, which also won financial backing from HRUK in 2011.

Barbara Harpham, national director of HRUK, said: “By using football, we get children involved in more activities and get their hearts healthy.

“It’s great for the children to meet their footballing idols and be inspired by them.

“Sunderland Football Club Foundation is one of the best in the country and that is why it has been awarded money for the second year in a row.

“But what is really great is seeing the look on the kids’ faces when they really get involved in these healthy and fun-based activities.”

Philip King, football development business manager at SAFC Foundation of Light, said: “We are so grateful to receive a second Healthy Heart grant from Heart Research UK, enabling us to reach more children and parents.”