Pupils from Millstead Primary School, a special educational needs (SEN) school based in Liverpool, received a surprise when Jason McAteer paid them a visit to help deliver a sports session with a difference.
Thirty children, aged between six and 10 years old, joined Jason for some fun coaching and activity sessions specifically developed to help them better interact with their surroundings, such as throwing and catching exercises with sensory balls, target practice, and knocking skittles over.
As part of LFC Foundation’s Respect 4 All programme, the club’s official family partner, Joie Baby, has teamed up with the club’s official charity to deliver weekly SEN sports and activity sessions for children and young people with complex and additional needs.
The programme will see experienced coaches from LFC Foundation deliver dedicated sessions at Millstead for three hours a week to remove potential barriers that can exist regarding accessibility to sport for children with complex needs and disabilities.
At the end of the sessions, McAteer had another surprise up his sleeve for the children, when he presented them all with a selection of gifts to help them remember their special day.
Matt Parish, director of LFC Foundation, said: “Respect4All is a fantastic programme which offers tailored sessions with specialist coaches to provide local children and young people with fun, engaging classes which really bring out their personalities and help them to develop new skills.
“We’re incredibly pleased to have the support of Joie Baby, which will help us deliver these dedicated sessions to more pupils at Millstead Primary School. Joie really embraces and promotes family values, echoing perfectly the philosophy of Liverpool Football Club, so it’s great to have them on board.”
David Welsh, managing director at Joie, said: “We’re passionate about bringing joy to families, whether through our products or brilliant initiatives such as this.
“Sport is a powerful way to help these children interact with their surroundings and develop new skills. We’re excited to see the impact of the sessions and continue to support the club in delivering them to the children at Millstead Primary School.”