Young footballers celebrate after winning kit competition judged by Sunderland Echo

Deacon Grimes, Freddie Patterson, Ashton Farquhar, Leo Harrington, Jake Kean, Jake Davies, Leon Hardy, Cory Taylor, Kai Davidson, Jack Burns, Keon Shipley and Harley Telford ''Louise Hope, Cluster General Manager, left of team, and right is Karen Lynch, Operations Manager Sunderland.

Deacon Grimes, Freddie Patterson, Ashton Farquhar, Leo Harrington, Jake Kean, Jake Davies, Leon Hardy, Cory Taylor, Kai Davidson, Jack Burns, Keon Shipley and Harley Telford ''Louise Hope, Cluster General Manager, left of team, and right is Karen Lynch, Operations Manager Sunderland.

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Young footballers are celebrating after their “dynamic and thriving” team won a new kit in a competition judged by the Echo.

Velocity Raptors Under-10s, who train at Castle View Enterprise Academy, in Cartwright Road, entered the contest, which was run by Premier Inn Sunderland.

Their passion and commitment blew me away

Joy Yates

Premier Inn teamed up with the Echo to launch the competition to celebrate the opening of its new £7.5million hotel, in Hind Street, which will feature 125 bedrooms, a 156-seater Thyme restaurant and a 20-seater external terraced area.

All sports clubs, schools and parents were invited to write to the Echo highlighting why their team should win the new kits, worth £325, which included 14 tops, shorts and socks, and a full kit for the goalkeeper.  

The Echo’s editorial director, Joy Yates, judged the competition, and said: “My huge congratulations go out to Velocity Raptors Under-10’s team for winning this fantastic Premier Inn competition.

“It was a really hard one to judge, but their letter seemed to stand out from the others based on their determination and drive to take the team forward.

“Their passion and commitment blew me away, which I’m sure will see them through to the end of the season with a few good wins, especially now as they look even more like a dynamic and thriving young team.”

Louise Hope, cluster general manager at Premier Inn Newcastle South, said: “It was important for us to show our commitment to the local community with the opening of our new Sunderland Premier Inn hotel, and running a local kit sponsorship competition seemed like the perfect way to do it.”

Glen Davies, parent and coach, said: “Our Under-10s team were over the moon when they found out they had won the competition, which has definitely given them an extra boost on the pitch.

“With big smiles on their faces and looking more like a united team, I’m confident their hard work and dedication will pay off this season, as already they have won nine out of the last 12 games.”