Sunderland defender gives children a taste of sporting life

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TODDLERS were given a taste of sporting life from footballer Gemma Wilson.

The defender – the longest-serving player with Sunderland Women’s Football Club – took part in games and presented children with prizes at an annual sports day at Busy Bees at Cleadon Village Kindergarten.

Toddlers at Cleadon Village Kindergarten, Erin Caldor- Crone, Thomas Degnan and Eve Pearson taking part in their sports day with the help of Sunderland Women's footballer, Gemma Wilson.

Toddlers at Cleadon Village Kindergarten, Erin Caldor- Crone, Thomas Degnan and Eve Pearson taking part in their sports day with the help of Sunderland Women's footballer, Gemma Wilson.

“It’s great to be involved with anything to do with sports, especially with young kids,” she said.

“It was always part of the year I looked forward to at school, so I like to be involved in getting the kids interested in sport at a young age.

“I can remember playing in the boys’ teams and parents thinking, ‘What are you doing?’

“But that’s changing now, and it’s just great for the kids to get involved, no matter what age they are.”

Room manager at the nursery Martin Dyer, who works with the two to three-year-olds, said the day and Gemma’s visit was important in getting the children interested in sports.

“It was great of her to come along and take part,” he said. “She spent time joining in the games and handed out certificates.

“Activities like this will hopefully give the kids a taste for sport before they get to school.”

The sports day is part of a week of activities being run by the Busy Bees kindergarten to raise money for the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust.

“We’ve had the Little Kickers come in to give the children a football taster session, and we are having a cake sale and a sponsored fun run,” said Martin.

“It’s been something different and the parents are taking part and backing it.”

The Kindergarten, in Front Street, is hoping the week will kick-start fund-raising for the charity.

“I would like to raise a few hundred pounds,” said Martin.

“But anything we raise will help to make a difference somewhere down the line.

“We are always collecting money for charity and the parents are fantastic in helping us.

“We raised a lot on money over the years.

“But this week is good for getting the children into sport as well as raising the money.”