Thu, Dec

Pupils from a Washington school were in for a surprise when Black Cats stars Kenwyne Jones and Daryl Murphy interrupted their lesson.
The players dropped into St John Boste RC School as part of a family learning session organised by the club's official charity, the SAFC Foundation.

The players joined in with activities and games designed to develop relationships between parents and children.

Star striker Kenwyne said: "It's important for the club and everybody attached to the club to try and inspire the community.

"Football is not the only resort for all kids, but it is a major part of many lives and if it can be used to inspire them, then I support that."

During a 10-week period, coaches from the Foundation will work with families to teach them the importance of a balanced diet, numeracy and literacy.

Ireland international Daryl said the sessions had given him a new insight into the work of the Foundation in reaching out to the community.

"There wasn't anything like this available when I was a kid and I think it's a great opportunity for families," he said.

"I'm sure parents will come away at the end of the 10 weeks with a better understanding of what's going on in school."

He added: "There are a lot of pluses to the course, from education to fitness."

The course, which is also being run in several other Wearside schools, is divided into practical, football based sessions and classroom-based learning.

Graeme Dixon and his son Elliot, five, are among those hoping to benefit from the scheme.

Graeme, 45, from Fatfield, said: "Elliot may be tall for his age, but he doesn't have much confidence, so I'm hoping the course will boost that.

"It was a big shock for the pupils to see the footballers at the session, but I think it's good for the players to keep in touch with the community and show that they are human."

The Match of the Day camera crew were also at the school to capture highlights for the community section of the programme, which will be aired this Sunday morning.